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25 Most Promising HealthCare Service Providers 2015

Marathon Health: Optimizing the Health Care Delivery Model

Jerry Ford, CEO
Much of the nation’s healthcare woes can be attributed to the inefficient medical delivery system. Based on a fee-for-service model, it encourages clinicians to examine as many patients as they can in a short time, often resulting in lower quality and inefficient care. Patients are left with only “band-aid solutions”, and no effort is made to make them understand the effectiveness of the treatment and what the overall effect of the health intervention will be on their perceived quality of life. This calls for an overhaul of the existing model. Marathon Health is one such healthcare firm that was established with the intent to bring in reforms to the current healthcare delivery model. Operating from Winooski, VT, the company provides employer-based clinical services such as integrated primary care, health coaching, health assessment, disease management, and pharmacy services to medium and large employer organizations.

Established in 2005, Marathon Health’s approach is getting individuals to opt in to their own motivation to change. Marathon Health believes that when employees understand the choices that impact their health, they gain a new perspective -- one that isn’t simply about being treated when sick, but achieving their best possible health. This approach is backed by a HIPAA-compliant technology platform, which serves as a data repository for the employees’ health information. This platform offers evidence-based health programming, a Personal Health Record and Electronic Medical Record, medical content, and a clinical management system. Jerry Ford, CEO, explains, “We empower patients by giving our clinicians the necessary time to get at the root of a patient’s health concerns and the tools to provide effective health coaching and disease management.”

Marathon Health improves the health status of a population through its total population risk management approach, which includes primary care, health coaching and disease management. Clinicians stratify the employee population into low, medium, and high-risk categories through biometric screenings and health risk assessments.
Once the population has been stratified, Marathon Health’s clinicians perform outreach to all employees and schedule a comprehensive health review to go over risk factors. To support patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, depression, hypertension, congestive heart failure, GERD and others, the company provides protocol-driven disease management services delivered face-to-face, over the telephone and on secure messaging platforms.

Marathon Health shows employers the effectiveness of it services through detailed monthly and yearly reports, providing vital information such as participation levels, encounters, diagnoses, prescriptions written, medications dispensed, employees’ health progress, and many more. The Clinical Activity and Trends (CAT) report serves as a guide to the performance of the onsite health center and of the overall program of population health management.


Marathon Health improves the health status of a population through its total population risk management approach, which includes primary care, health coaching and disease management


There has been a steep rise—amounting to over 94% in a span of 4 years— in the number of enrolled participants in the company’s health management programs, a fact that validates the effectiveness of Marathon Health’s healthcare delivery model saving millions of dollars. At the City of Lexington, for example, Marathon Health helped the city save more than $24 million over two years. So far, the company has worked with nearly 70 clients including Chico’s FAS, Carnival Cruise Lines, Kwik Trip, and City of Overland Park. Marathon Health has received the Governor’s Worksite Wellness Award for the past four years for its commitment to health and wellness. Commenting on the company’s long enshrined vision, CEO Ford adds, “Our vision is to be the industry’s leading, technology-driven, employer sponsored healthcare provider through superior customer service and product excellence.”