Here's how it works.

Read our frequently asked questions below for fast answers.

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VLM is a year-long program designed to help individuals build a healthier lifestyle and lose weight through personalized health coaching, education, goal setting and planning and tracking techniques. There are 16 weekly lessons, followed by 8 monthly lessons. These lessons provide the knowledge and teach the skills needed to adopt healthy habits. You will be asked to track what you eat and your physical activity. You will also have access to eating and physical activity planning tools to help you plan your week. Throughout the program, your personal coach will actively engage with you using email via our secure messaging system. Your coach will use the information you enter into the system to personally coach you, help guide you through the program and support you to meet your goals.
VLM is the online version of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The DPP is a research-proven lifestyle management program in which individual patients meet in face-to-face, one-on-one counseling sessions with a skilled coach to educate and support them in their weight loss efforts. The DPP, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was a landmark multi-year study with 3,234 adults with prediabetes in 27 U.S. cities. Through this intensive behavior change intervention, patients increase physical activity, improve nutrition and lose 5-7% of their body weight. Additionally, the DPP decreased the progression to diabetes by 71% for those individuals over 60 years old and by 58% for other adults. The University of Pittsburgh developed the DPP and then partnered with DPS Health (now Canary Health, Inc.) to develop the web-based VLM service. DPS Health has been providing VLM to healthcare providers, health plans and employee wellness programs for more than 10 years.
Your health coach will be assigned to you when you sign up for the program. You will communicate with your coach through secure messaging (confidential email) so you can write to them within the program. The relationship you develop with your coach will provide a strong foundation of support, accountability, education, and additional tools necessary to help you reach your goals. Your VLM coach is an experienced healthcare professional chosen by VLM because of his or her experiences, skills and commitment to helping individuals lose weight and improve their health. They come from a variety of health-related backgrounds such as nursing, nutrition, and physical therapy.
There are two goals for VLM. The first goal is for you to lose 7% of your body weight by eating healthier. There is strong evidence that losing that amount can significantly improve your health. The second goal is to work towards 2 ½ hours of brisk physical activity each week.
VLM grants you access to:
  1. Useful and valuable skills related to nutrition, exercise, and overcoming obstacles to help you reach your health goals
  2. Weekly communication, support and progress notes from a VLM coach
  3. Online tracking tools that help you record your weight, dietary intake and exercise including graphs that illustrate your weight loss and physical activity accomplishments

Results: you will eat better, be more physically active, lose weight and improve your overall health for the long term.
The VLM program currently has partial support for mobile devices such as an iPad and other tablets. Full support is expected in the near future, but it is recommended that you use a computer with a standard web browser (Firefox / Chrome / Internet Explorer) if you encounter any difficulties.
GEHA will cover 100% of the cost of the VLM program for all GEHA members over the age of 18 who meet qualifying health criteria. This includes the integrated digital weight scale, pedometer, fat calorie counting book, personal health coaching and access to the VLM website administered by Canary Health. As you progress through the VLM program, it will appear on your Explanation of Benefit (EOB) forms; however, there is no cost to you.
Yes. GEHA covers 100% of the cost of the VLM program which will appear on your EOB. Based on your participation throughout the year-long program, you can receive up to five EOBs. For example, the first EOB is for completing the Orientation lesson with subsequent EOBs for completing lessons and losing weight. This VLM program will be administered by Canary Health, who will be listed under the name ABK Ventures, Inc. on your EOBs.
Tracking daily activity such as steps taken or calories consumed takes less than five minutes to complete. Each of the 16 weekly lessons take as little as 10-15 minutes to complete. Throughout the program, you will be asked to review progress and plan your next week's activities, which can take less than 20 minutes.
As a member of GEHA, you have access to benefits that can help improve your health and wellness. VLM is among those wellness opportunities. GEHA does not grant the VLM program access to your health information, nor does it share why you were invited to join VLM.
Participation in the VLM program is reserved for GEHA Health Plan members only.
Yes, additional wellness opportunities are available through the GEHA website under Member Web Services. Participants can take the Health Risk Assessment and earn reward points that can be redeemed for health-related equipment. Many of these activities teach lifestyle changes that will help you feel better and more energized! Lifestyle changes associated with exercise and diet can help improve blood pressure and heart function.
This program is specifically designed to help patients lose weight and avoid developing diabetes. As such, we require that our program participants meet specific clinical eligibility criteria. In order to participate, your calculated Body Mass Index (BMI) number must be 30 or greater. Alternatively, you can qualify if your BMI is above 25 and you indicate that you have a health condition on the registration form.
We hope that our participants enjoy our program, but we understand that there are certain realities that may prevent you from committing to VLM. Participants can write to requesting to be disenrolled from the program, and we will process your request. There is no penalty for disenrolling.

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