Health Management Resources
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|Industry||Weight Loss, Weight Management|
|Founder||Dr. Lawrence Stifler|
|Headquarters||Boston, MA, United States|
|Len Tacconi, President|
Number of employees
|Parent||Merck & Co., Inc.|
HMR, formerly known as Health Management Resources, is a part of Merck & Co. that offers behavioral-based, lifestyle-focused weight management programs that combine a structured diet, physical activity, and lifestyle-change coaching. It was founded as a separate company in 1983, and has provided its programs to U.S. hospitals, medical centers, provider groups, and health systems. More recently, HMR introduced a self-directed program that participants can access online with the option of coaching support by phone.
In 2013, HMR became a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. and is part of Merck's Healthcare Services & Solutions, an entity separate from the pharmaceutical business, which focuses on improving the healthcare experience for patients, providers, and payers.
The HMR Behavioral Program
The HMR Behavioral Program enables participants to make lifestyle changes to lose weight and then maintain the weight loss. Specifically, the program helps participants learn ways to reduce fat in the diet, eat more fruits and vegetables, and increase daily physical activity. In 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that all individuals with obesity (as defined by body mass index or BMI, a measurement relating weight to height, of 30 and above), be offered, or referred to, intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions, which include behavioral management activities (such as setting weight-loss goals), improving diet or nutrition and increasing physical activity, addressing barriers to change, self-monitoring, and strategies to help maintain lifestyle changes.
HMR programs reinforce that the behavioral changes participants make to manage their weight also help for overall health management.
The HMR Diet
All HMR weight-loss options use a structured diet of meal replacements (portion-controlled, packaged foods) to reduce food choice decisions. Meal replacements have been shown to be an effective strategy for weight management. In the weight-loss phase of the program, meal replacements are used as a tool to achieve weight loss. After reaching goal weight, participants use meal replacements strategically as they transition to a long-term healthy eating plan that includes lean proteins whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.
HMR offers a range of program options with varying degrees of structure. The most structured diet plan is only offered at an HMR clinic-based location and includes medical supervision and face-to-face group coaching. It is particularly suited to individuals with significant weight to lose or those with other medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other weight-related issues that require medical monitoring during weight loss. Individuals may also choose less structured options which can be done with or without medical supervision in a clinic setting. HMR also offers several “at home” weight-loss plans, one of which includes the option of phone-based group coaching.
All HMR Programs are divided into two phases:
- Phase 1 (weight loss Tips): The goal is to lose weight quickly by replacing current meals and snacks with HMR foods (and fruits and vegetables on some plans) while beginning to incorporate regular physical activity.
- Phase 2 (weight management): Participants learn more strategies to manage their weight over the long term as they face "real world" eating challenges such as socializing, dining out, or traveling.
In-clinic outcome data
There have been several published studies documenting the outcomes of the HMR Program. The clinic-based Decision-Free® Diet has the largest published weight losses ranging from 43 – 66 pounds in 12 – 26 weeks. Two studies have reported on weight losses of 100 pounds or more  with the average weight loss over 130 pounds. The clinic-based Healthy Solutions® Diet has reported weight losses ranging from 28 – 37.5 pounds in 12 – 26 weeks.
Health Solutions at Home weight loss-data
Two randomized controlled trials on the Healthy Solutions at Home Program found that participants in the phone-based program (receiving weekly group coaching by phone) lost as much weight as those in a traditional face-to-face clinic. In both studies, participants in the phone coaching program lost an average of 28 pounds at 6 months. Another randomized study found that participants using Healthy Solutions at Home without any additional coaching lost an average of 13 pounds in 12 weeks.
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