What are special health checkups and special health-maintenance guidance?

 

Examination and health-maintenance guidance services have been provided for insured persons and dependents aged 40 and above but younger than 75 (including persons reaching age 75 during the fiscal year). These services are intended to help prevent lifestyle-related conditions, with a focus on preventing and eliminating metabolic syndrome. All health insurers, including the Health Insurance Organization, are required to provide these services, referred to as special checkups (special health checkups) and special health-maintenance guidance.

Details about the Health Insurance Organization’s Implementation Plan >> "Implementation Plan for Special Health Checkups , Etc."



Objectives of these special checkups and special health-maintenance guidance


Until now, the goals of health checkups and health-maintenance guidance services have been early identification and treatment of health conditions.
Special checkups and special health-maintenance guidance services seek to reduce the occurrence of and risks (preventive medicine) for lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes by focusing on visceral-fat obesity, based on health-maintenance guidance for improving personal habits that may lead to these conditions. Since lifestyle-related conditions can emerge without visible symptoms, health-maintenance guidance services are provided to help patients modify their behavior and to provide encouragement and opportunities to review one's own lifestyle habits.



What are special checkups (special health checkups)?


Special checkups are screenings intended to identify those requiring health-maintenance guidance. The goal is to prevent lifestyle-related conditions, with a focus on visceral-fat obesity. The target areas have been chosen to accurately identify those needing special health-maintenance guidance, for example, by adding a step measuring abdominal girth to evaluate visceral fat accumulation.
These examinations cover both insured persons and dependents aged 40 and above but younger than 75 (including persons reaching age 75 during the fiscal year).
The results of these examinations are used to identify (rank) those needing special health-maintenance guidance by assigning them to various assistance levels (motivational support, proactive support) corresponding to risk level, focusing on the extent of visceral-fat buildup and a number of other risk factors.
In addition, when notified of examination results, all those who have undergone special health checkups are given information tailored to their individual needs, based on the examination results.



Ranking steps (illustration)




What is special health-maintenance guidance?


Special health-maintenance guidance is provided to persons judged eligible for motivational support and proactive support.
Special health-maintenance guidance seeks to make patients more aware of their own health conditions and to empower them to make and sustain efforts to improve their own lifestyle habits. This guidance consists of a wide range of motivational support and advice to help patients achieve healthier lifestyle habits.


Motivational support: In principle, one session of motivational assistance will be provided to encourage improvements in lifestyle habits.


With guidance from physicians, health-maintenance professionals, and senior nutritionists, an action plan will be prepared. Specialists will provide motivational support--one session, in most cases--to help the patient improve his or her lifestyle habits. Follow-up assessments will evaluate progress toward the planned results.

Examples: individual assistance, group assistance, etc.


Proactive support: Patients can receive continuous support by meeting with specialists numerous times over a period of three months or longer.


With guidance from physicians, over a period of at least three months, health-maintenance professionals and senior nutritionists will help prepare an action plan, while specialists provide regular and continued support. These efforts will help the patient improve his or her lifestyle habits. Follow-up assessments will determine progress toward the planned results.

Examples: individual assistance, group assistance, telephone, e-mail, etc.



What is metabolic syndrome?

The development of lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes is now known to be closely linked to visceral-fat obesity, in which fat builds up around the internal organs. Metabolic syndrome refers to the presence of two or more of the following conditions in addition to visceral-fat obesity: hyperglycemia, high blood pressure, and dyslipidemia.
Even before the emergence of a condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or hyperlipidemia, the combination of these conditions--most importantly based on visceral-fat obesity--can rapidly harden the arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions, including heart disease or stroke.

Visceral-fat obesity

There are two types of obesity, which differ by the location of fat buildup: visceral-fat obesity and subcutaneous obesity. Visceral-fat obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome.
Visceral-fat obesity is a type of obesity in which fat builds up around the internal organs. Large amounts of fat accumulate in the upper body, resulting in an apple-shaped figure.



Start with a health checkup

Under Medical Care System for the Advanced Elderly for people aged 75 and above, health insurers make contributions to a system of subsidies for persons in the latter stages of old age.
Plans call for increasing or decreasing the amount of these subsidies starting the 2013 fiscal year, based on insurers' rates of implementing special health checkups and special health-maintenance guidance.
Since insured persons and their dependents undergoing health checkups affect the Health Insurance Organization's finances, insured persons and dependents are requested to practice healthy lifestyle habits on a daily basis and to undergo annual health checkups.

See here for information on the Society's health checkup services >> "Health Checkups / Complete Medical Checkups"


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