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New National Association Formed to Concentrate on Worksite Health Programs and Onsite Clinics

Friday, May 6, 2011 General News J E 4
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NWHCA will focus on helping employers develop and expand onsite health care programs

CHICAGO, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), in cooperation with The La Penna Group, announced that it is forming the National Worksite Health Center Association (NWHCA), an employer-led organization focused on assisting public and private employers in getting the greatest return from onsite clinics, pharmacies and fitness and wellness centers.

"This new national association will increase the exchange of information and experiences between employer-sponsors of worksite health facilities," said Larry Boress, MBGH president and CEO. "NWHCA will also provide practical and objective information for those examining this approach as to how these facilities can be part of a total health care strategy that increases productivity, reduces costs and enhances engagement in health management programs."

According to a 2009 Mercer employer study, worksite facilities are growing in popularity. Mercer found 31 percent of large employers offer a medical clinic at or near their workplace. While most are using it for occupational health services, 11 percent of large employers provide a clinic for primary care services and ten percent of all employers surveyed are considering offering a primary care clinic this year. Recent MBGH employee focus group research also indicates that 62 percent of workers are interested in their company offering onsite medical clinics to better manage their health.

"We've found that while many companies are successfully implementing onsite care, there is a need for an association that can provide an environment for the sharing of best practices and program ideas," said Mike La Penna, principal, The La Penna Group, Inc.

The association also plans to form a Medical Director Council of physician thought-leaders from employers, providers, consultants and vendors.

"For many employers, worksite health centers are increasingly becoming a key strategy for not only providing medical care, but also optimizing the use of other health benefits to improve employee health and realize cost savings," said Bruce Sherman, MD, consulting corporate medical director for the Whirlpool Corporation. "While the concept may be straightforward, the implementation is rather complex and this association will be a helpful resource."

About The La Penna Group

The La Penna Group, Inc. is a health care consulting group focused on program development and innovative solutions for both providers and consumers. For more than 20 years, its team has worked directly with employers to develop on-site health access and clinical services and its clients are considered to have some the most advanced programs in the nation. The La Penna Group frequently publishes on the subject of employer based health programming and worksite health clinics and sponsors an industry newsletter (www.onsiteclinics.org) in addition to conducting regular research on program performance. www.lapenna.com

About the Midwest Business Group on Health

Celebrating more than 30 years of advancing value in health care and health benefits management, the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) is one of the nation's leading business groups of private and public employers. MBGH's more than 100 members represent over 3 million lives, spending more than $3 billion on health care benefits annually. MBGH member benefits include educational workshops for health benefits management, networking opportunities, research, demonstration projects and community initiatives. MBGH is a founding member of the National Business Coalition on Health. www.mbgh.org

SOURCE Midwest Business Group on Health; The La Penna Group

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