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Alere's Dr. Ron Loeppke to Speak on 'Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy' at First Annual IBI/NBCH Health and Productivity Forum

Thursday, February 12, 2009 General News J E 4
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-- Loeppke to discuss recent findings showing that health-related productivity costs are significantly higher than medical and pharmacy costs



-- Presentation includes real-world insights into how employers can use research findings to develop integrated health and productivity enhancements



-- Conditions such as depression, obesity, arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders are significant cost drivers for nation's employers



LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Ron Loeppke, M.D., M.P.H., EVP of Health and Productivity Strategy for Alere (www.alere.com), will speak on the topic of "Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy" at The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) and The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) , First Annual IBI/NBCH Health and Productivity Forum. The IBI/NBCH Conference takes place February 9-11, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Dr. Loeppke will speak Wednesday, Feb. 11 at the 10:10 a.m. General Session. Alere, a member of the Inverness Medical Innovations family of companies, is recognized as one of the nation's leading providers of comprehensive health management services.



"U.S. employers today are significantly underestimating the overall costs associated with poor employee health, while also failing to fully assess the diseases and health conditions that drive these costs," said Dr. Loeppke. "We want to help employers understand that one of the best ways to lower costs is to provide programs that encourage health and wellness."



With more than 20 years of clinical and physician executive experience, Loeppke is well-qualified to speak on the topic. Dr. Loeppke is Board-Certified in Preventive Medicine and Fellowship-trained in Occupational Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM - www.acoem.org.) and the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and currently serves on the Board of Directors for ACOEM as well as the Board of Directors of Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI).



The presentation will include new "real-world" insights and applications for employers, based on published data from a multi-employer research study conducted by Dr. Loeppke and others. It shows the total costs of poor health and helps to highlight the link between employee health and productivity.



Dr. Pamela Hymel, Corporate Medical Director of Cisco Systems, one of the employers that participated in the research, will share a case study of how Cisco used this and other related data to shape its benefits strategies. She will also give highlights of the innovative integrated health and productivity enhancement initiatives Cisco uses, as well as its new state-of-the-art worksite medical facility, the Cisco LifeConnections Health Center (http://www.ciscolifeconnections.com).



In addition, David Sensibaugh, Director of Integrated Health for Eastman Chemical Company, will also share his company's integrated health strategy and how they used the information from this study.



One of the most significant study findings is that health-related productivity costs are between two and four times higher than medical and pharmacy costs. Researchers note that health conditions with the highest absenteeism/presenteeism costs are often overlooked because they do not generate the highest medical costs, yet they drive total health-related costs. When full costs were measured - rather than medical costs alone - it was found that health conditions such as depression, obesity, arthritis, back/neck musculoskeletal problems and anxiety disorders took on new significance in driving total health-related costs for employers.



The results suggest that when healthcare costs are either viewed in a silo or without the broader context of "full cost", the cost impact of a given condition may be seriously underestimated. Accounting for absenteeism and presenteeism in addition to medical and pharmacy costs present a more accurate picture of the full costs that companies bear because of poor employee health.



The first phase of the research study was completed in 2007. Findings from the second phase are expected to be released this spring. The study gathered data from 10 employers and 50,000 employee respondents and analyzed more than 1 million medical and pharmacy claims.



About Alere

Alere(www.alere.com) is a member of the Inverness Medical Innovations (www.invernessmedical.com) family of companies and represents the union of Alere Medical, Paradigm Health and Matria Healthcare. Alere, a Latin verb, meaning "to care for" or "to support", offers the most patient-centered health management services available from a single provider in the industry. Alere services provide health interventions that are designed for the entire lifespan from pre-cradle (high risk pregnancy and NICU management) to end-of-life care (complex care) as well as the continuum of health from wellness (health and productivity programs) to prevention for those at risk for illnesses.



SOURCE Alere
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