Disease Management Update
Volume IV, No. 32
December 6, 2007
Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,
It may take a village to raise a child, but according to healthcare professionals like Gregg Lehman, president and CEO of HealthFitness, and David Chenoweth, president of Chenoweth & Associates Inc., it takes a workplace to maintain good health. Whether it is support and participation from the C-suite or competition from fellow co-workers, such measures are proven to drive participation and results in wellness and disease management programs.
This week's Disease Management Update showcases a recent HIN interview with Lehman and reports what one health and wellness company is doing to promote workplace wellness.
Your colleague in the business of healthcare,
Laura M. Greene
Editor, Disease Management Update
If this is a forwarded copy of Disease Management Update and you like what you see, you can register to receive your own copy of this complimentary service. Sign up at:
Table of Contents
- C-Suite Support is Key for Corporate Health
- Disease Management Q&A: Communication That Engages Employees
- HealthSounds Podcast: Team Approach to Workplace Wellness
- Health Tips Designed to Strengthen Workplace Wellness Programs, Reduce Healthcare Costs
- Survey of the Month: Healthcare Consumerism
- Gaining ROI from Employer-sponsored Weight Management Programs
1. C-Suite Support is Key for Corporate Health
Participation in wellness programs and initiatives at the executive level can yield great results, according to Gregg Lehman, president and CEO of HealthFitness, a provider of integrated health and fitness management services for employees and individuals.
However, levels of C-suite involvement can vary greatly, ranging from verbal encouragement and support (via newsletters, emails, videos, and general letters of support for programs), to recognizing employees working to improve their health status, to executives becoming active participants in health management programs and sharing their success stories.
In a recent interview with HIN, Lehman cited some valuable techniques that are effective — and essential — in obtaining optimal wellness program success and creating a corporate culture of health. His list includes:
Reducing risk factors of chronic diseases in the workforce is one of the best long-term investments CEOs and CFOs can make, says Lehmann.
Generating corporate mission and vision statements that support employee health and well-being;
- Encouraging workers to participate through financial incentives and easy access to programs while at work;
- Incorporating an integrated approach to managing employee health programs, aligning previously segmented functions like HRA, workers comp, risk management, long-term disability, occupational health and DM programs;
- Conducting an annual assessment of baseline health through an HRA and biometrics screenings;
- Engaging employees and encouraging employee input (i.e. creating a committee or task force);
- Offering fitness programs, prevention programs, etc., and
- Enforcing no-smoking policies, offering healthy food choices in the cafeteria, and addressing other environmental factors.
To listen to the pre-recorded interview, please visit:
2. Disease Management Q&A: Communication That Engages Employees
Each week, healthcare professionals respond to a reader's query on an industry issue. This week's experts are Terri Kachadurian, manager of worksite health promotion for the Health Alliance Plan, Jackie Boucher, manager of phone initiatives and outcomes advisor for HealthPartners, and Anna Silberman, vice president of preventative health services for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Question: What is the role of communications to employees in getting engagement, and the role of the employer in that communication effort? How critical is this?
Response: (Terri Kachadurian) From the employer perspective, to maximize engagement you want to have the high level leadership at the organization endorsing the program and communicating the importance of it and encouraging participation. Also, the message of confidentiality can’t be over-stressed.
(Jackie Boucher) The communication plan has to be fairly linked with whatever your incentive is. And I agree about the importance of confidentiality, because that comes up whenever the HRA is involved. Sometimes that communication might be better coming from the plan administrator or the employer, depending on the employee group.
(Anna Silberman) Communication has to be from the top. They have to demonstrate that they are not communicating time and place but communicating the commitment and the reason for it. A lot of people at the work site are not as up to speed on the latest health promotion and disease prevention interventions and tactics. So the communication has to be clear and it has to be demonstrated by commitment. Employers, including our own, should make time available during the work day for these services if they really mean what they say. And they should communicate but also commit.
For more details on engagement in workplace wellness programs, please visit:
We want to hear from you! Submit your question for Disease Management Q&A to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. HealthSounds Podcast: Team Approach to Workplace Wellness
In this week's disease management podcast, David Chenoweth, president, Chenoweth & Associates Inc., shares his thoughts on why team approaches to wellness are effective in the workplace. Chenoweth was joined by Margaret Frucci, human resource manager, Ocean Medical Center, part of Meridian Health System and Aaron Hardy, wellness coordinator, Washoe County School District, during Healthy Competition in the Workplace: Taking the Team Approach to Wellness, an audio conference available on CD-ROM that examined how workplace wellness programs are using competition between employees and departments to drive participation and results in wellness programs.
To listen to this complimentary HIN podcast, please visit:
4. Dental Health Tips Designed to Strengthen Workplace Wellness Programs, Reduce Healthcare Costs
OraMedica International, LLC has created an e-booklet of dental health tips for their employees. The easy-to-read booklet, entitled “Take a Holistic Bite Out of Gum Disease,” is designed to improve the long-term health of the workforce while reducing employers' healthcare costs and isfree to employers as a PDF download. The e-booklet is a practical and cost-efficient way to improve overall employee health status and help control company expenses.
Incorporating dental health education into workplace wellness promotion notably mitigates the risks for heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, cancer, and pain. Wellness coordinators who understand and support the dental-systemic health links impart significant dollar savings in employee health costs, absenteeism, healthcare premiums, workers’ compensation and other healthcare-related expenditures.
“Employers should recognize that anything that helps maintain health and detects potential health problems before they occur — and that includes dental conditions — keeps employees healthy and on the job,” says Dr. Andrea Brockman, president of OraMedica International. “The tips in this E-Booklet not only can improve employee oral health but can actually help prevent costly medical treatment and lost work days.”
To learn more about this initiative, please visit:
5. Survey of the Month: Healthcare Consumerism
Complete our survey on healthcare consumerism by December 31, and you'll get a free executive summary of the compiled results.
To participate in this survey and receive its results, please visit:
6. Gaining ROI from Employer-Sponsored Weight Management Programs
This white paper details the significant benefits to organizations that invest in proven weight control strategies at work. The paper cites more than a dozen studies highlighting the return on investment in terms of health risks, costs, and worker productivity and offers employers solutions to the growing crisis.
To download this complimentary white paper, please visit:
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