New Wellness Group Can Address Daily Habits


New Wellness Group Can Address Daily Habits

McMurrayHeadshot.jpgBy: Megan McMurray, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist & Assistant Professor at UAB Medicine

Looking for some new wellness groups?

The psychology team at UAB Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation came up with a new four-part series of wellness topics to address daily habits related to eating, activities, stress, and self-management of medical conditions.

One advantage of a group setting is that patients can be empowered to actively participate in a discussion about self-management and share ideas about decreasing barriers to adherence. The dynamic between participants is an important aspect of the group, one that models patient contributions and reflection for the members.   

In deciding timing for the classes, we looked at the busiest block for the week with our program manager. In our setting, hosting these wellness classes on Mondays at 9 AM was the best way to achieve the highest participation rate, while at the same time freeing up machines for the hour that new people are in class. Below is a list of the topics we are piloting:


Mindful Eating: Research-supported cognitive-behavioral techniques for weight management and mindfulness techniques. Self-management skills are an important part of mindful eating, so the class also reviews helpful apps for weight management, including tracking weight, activity, and nutrition.

Keep it Moving: The importance of all activity for general wellness, including pleasant activities, physical activity, and activities that give one a sense of accomplishment. The class is also focused on overcoming barriers to getting off the sofa and how behavioral activation works.

Let’s Talk about Stress, Baby: Stress management, helpful and unhelpful ways of coping with stress, sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques. Stress management programs have been shown to be associated with greater reductions in waist circumference and systolic blood pressure for patients with clinical elevations on these measures.

Being an Active Player in Your Medical Care: Managing chronic illness, medication compliance and adherence, health literacy, navigating the medical health system, how to talk with physicians, taking more control in one’s medical care and advocating for one’s self.

Thinking about doing one of these? Inspired to come up with your own? Compensation for services provided by a professional outside of the primary staff can be offset through group interventions. CPT 93797 allows for services that are not ECG-monitored exercise, including services with a psychosocial provider, dietitian, or pharmacist. CPT 93797 is reimbursed by Medicare at the same rate as CPT 93798 in a hospital outpatient setting. Providers can be compensated through a line item of hourly service for each class at a contracted rate for number a classes per month. Consider adding a wellness series to your budgets this fall!