Darrell Rogers, IIN Director of Advocacy
Why government awareness of health coaching is growing
As the Covid-19 pandemic stretches into its second year, there’s more focus than ever on the data that demonstrates those with chronic lifestyle diseases are more likely to suffer from severe Covid-19 illness, as well as have a higher mortality risk. Chronic disease prevention is becoming even more urgent, driving policy makers to prioritize funding for not just acute financial relief but also preventive care in all forms.
There are multiple reasons why federal attention and investment in health coaching matters to our community and individual coaches, one of which stands out: Pilot programs and efforts, such as ones we’ll detail below, create high-quality data on the effectiveness of health coaching. Our community uses this data to approach health insurance companies and the American Medical Association to create billing codes for health coaching services, including not just Health Coaches but also functional medicine doctors, physicians, dietitians, nutritionists, and any practitioners who work alongside Health Coaches to promote their value in improving health outcomes.
New U.S. administration provides hope for advancing the Health Coach profession
The recent change in administration offers our health and wellness community new opportunities to advance the ever-growing Health Coach profession in front of new audiences. Some changes have been stark and immediate – such as the addition of a well-known exercise bike in the White House and the removal of a button that summoned a diet soda – while other changes will take more time.
There are some insights we have into how a new Congress and administration will impact the health coaching profession at a national level:
- An upcoming Covid-19 stimulus package (up to $1.9 trillion) will likely include direct payments to most people, as well as increase unemployment benefits.
- What does this mean for Health Coaches? Your health coaching business could benefit as prospective clients might feel incentivized to invest unexpected money in their health.
- Nearly $500 billion in state and local aid, including K–12 education, is expected.
- What does this mean for Health Coaches? It might be beneficial for Health Coaches to stay in contact with their local health and education departments as the wellness programs that exist could be significantly expanded. IIN has seen a number of its Health Coaches take their practices virtual and provide valuable coaching services to schools, companies, and local governments.
- Additional federal funds for Covid-19 relief are planned, including a significant investment in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service.
- What does this mean for Health Coaches? These tax dollars are being used to train and employ Health Coaches in new and exciting endeavors! This allocation of funds means potential career opportunities with these organizations, and we expect to see even greater resources dedicated in the future.
We also expect to see an increased acceptance and endorsement of telehealth and telewellness. IIN is working with allies in Congress to remove regulatory hurdles to open more pathways for Health Coaches to deliver their services to those who need them.
In many ways, 2020 was a challenging year for all of us. IIN is working hard to make sure health coaching is seen, understood, and used by as many people as possible. We know the value of health coaching and important ways Health Coaches improve people’s lives. This is why IIN is the only school prioritizing investment in advocacy efforts to grow the profession.
We know how valuable Health Coaches can be in the healthcare system to help bridge the gap between doctors and patients and provide the support and resources patients need to reach their health goals. IIN is committed to the success of every graduate making a difference in their communities, and this advocacy work aims to further support our graduates in all that they do.
Darrell Rogers began his career in Washington, D.C., 20 years ago and has worked for members of Congress and several notable nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. More recently, his work has been committed to protecting and promoting holistic healthcare access. Every month, we’re sharing the notable work that Darrell is doing in Washington, D.C., to increase the visibility and recognition of Health Coaches.