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Work Place Wellness Programs

Posted Dec 23 2008 12:40pm
We are slowly getting the word out:

Wellness programs save money and they save lives. Health care leaders recently met in Boston to urge lawmakers to make work-based employee wellness programs easier to implement. Preventable illness is draining billions of dollars from the economy, said the health care leaders.

Work-based wellness programs are powerful tools for health, supporters told state representatives at a hearing of the Committee on Public Health. Wellness programs have:
  • Improved worker productivity and morale
  • Cut annual health inflation costs by 25 %
  • Reduced health risks
The experts, from companies like AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Fidelity, alerted representatives to problems facing wellness programs.
  • Small businesses need financial help to set up wellness programs.
  • Low-income, minority workers have fewer wellness opportunities and more chronic illness.

Health care leaders and state representatives agreed thatsuccessful work-based wellness must be an important issue for 2009.
The health care advocates recommended a number of government sponsored initiatives, including tax credits and leveraging of federal funds. Many experts also argued strongly against a “one-size-fits-all” approach, lobbying instead for extending help to small businesses who may need a more flexible approach to developing small-scale wellness plans.
What does this mean for directors and executives of work-based wellness programs?
  • Be aware of the financial and political issues that have an impact on you and your clients.
  • Be vocal in expressing your needs to your state and local representatives.
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