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Sam's Club® Launches Health Management Solution for Small Businesses

Monday, May 16, 2011 General News J E 4
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The Prevention Plan opens door to employee health for small business, includes comprehensive blood panel and resources to apply for wellness grants

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., and BENTONVILLE, Ark., May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Preventive Medicine®, the leader in disease prevention services, today announced its launch of a new version of The Prevention Plan™ health management program at Sam's Club, which has been customized to provide small employers across the country with an effective solution to support the health and enhance the productivity of their employees. Launched to coincide with National Small Business Week, The Prevention Plan from U.S. Preventive Medicine now includes a Resource Center for small businesses offering information on creating a culture of health and how to apply for state and federal wellness grants.

"Unfortunately, the effects of poor health can be severe for these businesses, with high claims rates resulting in significant annual cost increases, and we know that for many small businesses offering employees a health management program has been cost prohibitive," said Christopher Fey, founder, CEO and chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine. "The Prevention Plan is essentially a 'Turbotax®' for health, giving small employers all the tools and simple instructions to implement the program. Employers who successfully do so can slow the rate of premium increases they experience while reducing absenteeism and enhancing productivity."

The Prevention Plan is a personalized, step-by-step health management program that evaluates an individual's health risks and creates a personalized plan to reduce those risks.  In addition to an online Health Risk Appraisal, the program also includes a comprehensive blood test available through Quest Diagnostics® with 25 results, including cholesterol, blood sugar, liver and kidney function, thyroid, bones and fluids and electrolytes.  Personal health coaching, ongoing support, a variety of tools and a plan-wide health challenge help to keep members motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The program is available through Sam's Club and on SamsClub.com for $99 per person, per year.

"Now more than ever, the health of employees at small companies is a critical element of business success, and a peer-reviewed, published study revealed that The Prevention Plan is a proven solution to help employees reduce their health risks," said Ronald Loeppke, M.D., M.P.H., vice-chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine. "After just one year on the Plan, participants experienced dramatic health improvements, with nearly two-thirds of high risk individuals moving into the moderate and low health risk categories. The bottom line is that good health is good business."

"The additional benefit for many small employers today is the potential to be reimbursed for their implementation of the plan," said Fred Goldstein, U.S. Preventive Medicine chief government affairs officer. "There is a significant push, at both the federal and state levels, to encourage small businesses to adopt health management programs. Based on the proposed criteria we have seen, we are confident that The Prevention Plan will be eligible for reimbursement."

The Prevention Plan includes a new online Resource Center for small businesses, which will provide instructions about how to apply for available state wellness grants in addition to updates on the status of the $200 million in grants set aside under health care reform to reimburse small businesses for wellness programs. The Resource Center is also designed to enable employers to easily customize employee communications materials, incentives and challenges to encourage employees to become healthier.

"As America continues to progress toward sustained economic recovery, we recognize that small businesses will be a key contributor to our country's success, and we are committed to offering our members as many small business solutions as possible," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam's Club Health and Wellness. "We realize that reducing health care costs and supporting employee health are extremely integral to the success of small businesses, which is why we're offering The Prevention Plan."

In January, Sam's Club announced that it would begin selling The Prevention Plan to its members for $99 through its website. The new program, with resources for small businesses and a comprehensive blood panel, is now available for purchase in nearly 540 Sam's Clubs nationwide. For more information on The Prevention Plan, members can call 866-713-1180, or visit www.ThePreventionPlan.com/SamsClub.

About U.S. Preventive Medicine®

U.S. Preventive Medicine (www.USPreventiveMedicine.com) is leading a global preventive health movement focused on saving lives and money by keeping people healthy and better managing chronic conditions before they progress. The company has developed The Prevention Plan™, an innovative health management program that is based on the clinical science of preventive medicine: primary (wellness and health promotion to keep healthy people healthy), secondary (screening for earlier detection/diagnosis) and tertiary (early evidence-based treatment to reduce complications and disability). The Prevention Plan, which is available to consumers and employer groups, identifies each individual's top health risks and designs a customized plan of action to reduce those risks, supported by health coaching, robust online tools and plan-wide challenges with incentives. The company is accredited in wellness and health promotion by NCQA and disease management by URAC. Look for The Prevention Plan on Facebook.

About Sam's Club

Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is the nation's eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over traditional retailers. To learn more about Savings Made Simple(SM), visit SamsClub.com, and look for Sam's Club on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Sam's Club; U.S. Preventive Medicine

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