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Treating Chronic Illnesses at Work

Posted Aug 04 2010 12:00am
If you're a wellness professional or a benefits manager, you already know that the lion's share of health care costs come from chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Helping employees with chronic conditions manage their health more effectively can make a tremendous impact on a company's bottom line.

A recent article in the New York Times discusses how more and more companies are addressing the problem head on. Large employers that are self-insured (meaning they foot employees' medical bills directly) have the most to gain from helping high-risk employees become healthier. Some of their efforts include health coaching , one-on-one consultations with health professionals, and even onsite clinics.

The Times article gives some really good advice about privacy, incentives, and how to keep primary care physicians in the loop. I especially like the incentive structure at Pitney Bowes : they offer lower copays to employees who need medication to treat a chronic condition.

An onsite clinic isn't an option for everyone, of course, but that shouldn't encourage smaller companies from bringing wellness programs to their employees. Even if you don't have thousands of employees, there's still a lot you can do -- flu shots and screenings , health education seminars , wellness challenges , and more. If you need ideas, just drop us a line and we'll be happy to help.
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