Workplace Culture

Employer Guide Aims to Improve Employee Health, Reduce Costs

By Staff Report

Apr. 5, 2011

A free online guide has been made available to employers nationwide to help them develop, implement and maintain a health benefits strategy that improves employees’ health and stabilizes health care costs.


The guide, launched April 1 by New York-based Pfizer Inc.; the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Washington-based National Business Coalition on Health, is based on the experience of KC2, a three-year value-based benefit project involving 15 Kansas City-area employers. The “AHSP Employer Guide” includes the tools, lessons learned and case studies from the KC2 project.


“A key challenge for employers is getting their arms around, understanding and acting on their workforce health data, which is found in a range of internal and external silos,” Mid-America Coalition president William Bruning said in a written statement.


“Value-based benefit strategies have been proven to work for select ‘jumbo’ employers. Through this project, we’ve been able to translate these approaches into the world of mid- and large-sized employers, helping them change the way they address health and chronic disease in their benefit programs, improving employee wellness and ultimately health care costs,” Bruning said.


After examining trends of their individual workforce data, all of the participating KC2 project employers altered their benefit designs to better align incentives with desired behaviors that reduce health risks, promote use of preventive care and foster employee wellness. Those changes included covering preventive screenings and promoting activities that lead to behavior changes.


The complete results of the KC2 project will be released in June.


The success of the Kansas City program has led other employer coalitions to launch similar initiatives through the American Health Strategy Project, an NBCH-led program. They include the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health, the Midwest Business Group on Health, the Oregon Coalition of Health Care Purchasers, the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health and the Virginia Business Coalition on Health.  


Filed by Joanne Wojcik of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


 


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