MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 6 Two new issue briefs fromHealthFitness (OTC Bulletin Board: HFIT) underscore how health managementprograms are evolving into employer partners to create a culture of health.
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"Corporate America Embraces New Culture of Health" features HealthFitnessCEO Gregg O. Lehman's discussion of this emerging phenomenon: a proactivevision for corporations to address the high cost of health care in a globalmarketplace. Lehman is a well-known 20-year veteran of the health managementindustry, and previously served as CEO of the National Business Coalition ofHealth.
Health care cost increases have become a significant part of the"structural cost" of doing business in the United States, and a major barrierto global competitiveness. Organizations which cut benefits or increase theemployee burden for health care costs will dull their own competitive edge bylosing or alienating employees. Employers who wish to increase productivityand bring new products or services to market must attract and retain valuableemployees. A culture of health can address cost concerns in the here and nowand is the first step toward lowering both direct and indirect health carecosts.
"A corporate culture of health positively addresses the underlying factorsfueling health care costs: high health risks and chronic disease," Lehmansaid. In practice, it includes elements of corporate identity and is includedin corporate mission and goals. It begins with senior management activelysupporting, representing, and participating in healthy workforce initiatives.A culture of health integrates health management programs into the overallemployee benefit suite, including workers compensation, disability and healthbenefits. It manifests itself among employees with annual health riskassessments and biometric screenings, daily work breaks and stretch breaks,healthy food choices in vending machines and cafeterias, and worksite fitnesscenters and education programs. It is the foundation for a successful healthmanagement program.
"A Healthy Dose of Science for a Pound of Cure: A science-based path toclient-centered results" is the second issue brief, featuring interviews withleaders of the HealthFitness Research, Development and Outcomes (RDO) team.The brief explores how the company built its RDO division, led by ChiefScience Officer Pete Egan, Ph.D., into a vibrant collaboration of some of thetop minds in the business, connecting research with practice to meet practicalclient needs.
"The RDO division is about bringing a rigorous scientific process toeverything HealthFitness does," Lehman said. "This is a science and methodsgroup, but it includes program development so the different pieces are notisolated.
"Our clients are looking for a trusted partner to help them design a 21stCentury health plan that addresses bottom-line needs," he said. "Ourinvestment in the science side of health management gives our clients servicesrooted in meaningful measures of program success."
Both issue briefs are available at http://www.hfit.com/briefs.cfm.
HealthFitness is a leading provider of employee health improvementservices to Fortune 500 companies, the health care industry and individualconsumers. Serving clients for more than 30 years, HealthFitness partners withemployers to effectively manage their health care and productivity costs byimproving individual health and well-being. HFC serves more than 300 clientsglobally via on-site management and remotely via Web and telephonic services.HealthFitness provides a complete portfolio of health and fitness managementsolutions including a proprietary health risk assessment platform, screenings,EMPOWERED(TM) Health Coaching and delivery of health improvement programs. HFCemploys more than 3,000 health an