Foundation Publication Search Results

These summaries were compiled from Foundation Publications Search, a database of articles, research reports and books published by the International Foundation and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists.


Insurer Abused Discretion in Denying Coverage for Bariatric Surgery.
Benefits Magazine; v55 no2 pp 56, 58 Feb 2018; journal article

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Abstract : The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas grants in part and denies in part motions for summary judgment by the plaintiff health care plan participant and the defendant insurance company concerning claims related to coverage for bariatric surgery.
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Coronary Calcium Imaging: An Alternative Approach to Heart Disease Prevention.
Blanchet, William L.; Kenish, Samuel J.; Benefits Magazine; v55 no1 pp 40-44 Jan 2018; journal article

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Abstract : A diagnostic test called coronary calcium imaging may help health and welfare plan sponsors identify plan members at risk for heart disease earlier and better target treatment for those members.
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What's Working: Plan, Engage, Change!
Hartman, Robert J.; Plans & Trusts; v35 no6 pp 6-8 Nov-Dec 2017; journal article

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Abstract : The City of Kelowna offers a wellness program that continues to examine new ways to succeed nearly 20 years after its inception.
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Analytics + Disease Management = ROI.
Young, Nancy; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no4 pp 28-36 4th Qtr 2017; journal article

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Abstract : In the quest to control health insurance premium costs, companies have turned to wellness programs. These lifestyle-based programs have been proven ineffective from a cost-savings perspective. More effective are customized, data-driven solutions that focus on disease management. These programs focus on the prevention of chronic illness through highly targeted care management identified by in-depth data analysis. The result is a higher engagement rate than that of traditional lifestyle-based programs and, thus, lower employer health care insurance costs with a higher return on investment.
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Can My Smartphone Make Me Healthier?
Marcotte, Scot A.; Hunt, Ruth; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no4 pp 8-16 4th Qtr 2017; journal article

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Abstract : If we help our employees to be healthier, all sorts of good things can happen. Employers can see better productivity, reduced absenteeism, lower health care costs and even a more energized culture. At the same time, employees may suffer fewer health issues, better manage their health conditions and have greater quality of life. This article describes the effectiveness of smartphone apps to motivate behavior changes across multiple dimensions of employee well-being. The authors provide case studies and explain what employers should consider when designing initiatives that use apps to improve employee well-being through employee benefit plans.
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Exploring the Role of Employers as Health Educators.
Cranston, Susan D.; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no4 pp 23-27 4th Qtr 2017; journal article

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Abstract : Chronic diseases are leading influencers of health care costs for employers. Employers may wrestle with whether it is their responsibility to educate employees about chronic disease prevention and support. The option of maintaining the status quo, however, may result in a mounting financial burden. This article shows how adopting a proactive role as health educator may prove to be a critical business decision, allowing employers to positively influence the direction of worker health, drive down claims expenses and reduce the demand on public health resources.
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Sustained Focus Yields Results for Adventist HealthCare.
O'Connor, Erin K.; Benefits Quarterly; v33 no4 pp 17-22 4th Qtr 2017; journal article

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Abstract : The Adventist HealthCare (ACH) mission led the organization to pioneer population health management, proving that sustaining a culture of well-being over the long term means healthier employees and costs that are consistently below the national average. This article describes how ACH's integrated approach to building a culture of health involves many components, as well as support by top leadership. Key findings have emerged through ACH's sustained and successful efforts to add new features and integrate components.
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Getting More From Health Screenings.
Desai, Pete; Benefits Magazine; v54 no9 pp 46-51 Sep 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Workplace health screenings have the potential to catch serious health problems early, thereby improving work health status and outcomes. To operate a successful screening program, however, employers must address issues including communication with health plan participants and coordination with physicians.
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Conversation with Desiree Nielson.
Benefits Magazine; v54 no8 pp 12-13 Aug 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Editor Robbie Hartman caught up with Desiree Nielson to gather insights on the digestive health of the population--and what employers and plan sponsors can do about it.
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Conversation with Michael Arloski, Ph.D.
Benefits Magazine; v54 no7 pp 11-12 Jul 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Offering wellness coaching can be an effective strategy for helping employees take better charge of their health, according to Michael Arloski, who is the author of "Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change" and the founder and CEO of Real Balance Global Wellness Services Inc., which trains health care professionals and wellness coaches.
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Conversation With Desiree Nielsen.
Hartman, Robbie; Plans & Trusts; v35 no3 pp 29-30 May-Jun 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Digestive diseases are a valid and growing concern among employers, plans and individual members, says registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen, who spoke at the Canadian Health and Wellness Innovations Conference.
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What's Working: Helping Employees Manage Cancer.
Vogel, Chris; Benefits Magazine; v54 no1 pp 10-12 Jan 2017; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : A program developed by the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland for its own employees and tested at Pitney Bowes Inc. is designed to help calm the fears and answer questions of cancer patients and their caregivers. The program also helps workplace managers and supervisors know what they can and cannot say to employees diagnosed with cancer, how to create a supportive workplace and what accommodations they may need to make.
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Collaborative Employee Wellness: Living Healthy With Diabetes.
Hovatter, Joan McGarvey; Cooke, Catherine E.; de Bittner, Magaly Rodriguez; Benefits Quarterly; v32 no3 pp 41-45 3rd Qtr 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Innovative approaches to managing an employee population with a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus can mitigate costs for employers by improving employees' health. This article describes such an approach at McCormick & Company, Inc., where participants had statistically significant improvements in weight, average plasma glucose concentration (also called glycated hemoglobin or A1c) and cholesterol. A simulation analysis applying the findings of the study population to Maryland employees with a baseline A1c of greater than 6 percent showed that participation in the program could improve glycemic control in these patients, reducing the A1c by 0.24 percent on average, with associated cost savings for the employer.
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Killing Engagement, Embracing Empowerment: A New Model of Employee Care for Chronic Conditions.
Schneider, Jennifer; Benefits Magazine; v53 no6 pp 22-26 Jun 2016; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Technology that delivers real-time data to plan participants with chronic conditions may empower them to better manage their conditions.
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Why Your Employees May Be Their Own Best Care Managers.
Stanger, Janice; Benefits Magazine; v52 no12 pp 14-19 Dec 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : According to the Centers for Disease Control, 86 percent of all health care spending in 2010 was for patients with chronic medical conditions. These patients, by necessity, are responsible for their day-to-day care, but this kind of self-management is typically not optimized. This is why many health organizations are beginning to focus on patient empowerment to increase knowledge and encourage good decision making. Studies have shown that people are more likely to succeed in changing unhealthy behaviors when they establish their own goals and are given useful tools. These tools empower patients to make informed choices, which will reduce overall health care costs, but patients need better information and strategies to make these choices. Employers are increasingly designing wellness programs to help their workers.
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Accountable Care Organizations: The Missing Link to Engagement in Health and Health Care?
Halterman, Steven L.; Balezentis, Melinda S.; Benefits Quarterly; v31 pp 29-39 3rd Qtr 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are health care providers that operate on a care delivery and compensation model geared toward overall health maintenance rather than single episodes treating acute symptoms. Rooted in the early 20th century, the ACO model focuses on wellness and disease management, evidence-based decision support and payment structures that reward efficiency across the full continuum of patient care. The goals are to improve the quality of care and the way patients access and engage with the health care system. Active patient involvement in care, promoted by self-management support and community resources, is a key component of a more effective system but is often overlooked. An important element in the employer's role in promoting employee health is coordinating the workplace health and wellness program with an ACO. A checklist outlines assessment steps for the ACO and employer support.
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How Addressing Hypertension Creates a Healthier, More Productive Workplace.
Penso, Jerry; Benefits Magazine; v52 no6 pp 32-37 Jun 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a silent killer affecting one in three U.S. adults, yet 20 percent of those affected have no symptoms and are unaware of the threat. Physical inactivity, stress, unhealthy diets and even alcohol consumption are common risk factors prevalent in the workplace environment. Employers feel the effects of employee disease, with hypertension linked to heart disease and stroke and leading to absenteeism, reduced productivity and higher medical costs. Employers can promote healthier workplaces through the foods and drink they provide, a more active physical environment and stress management intervention, as well as urging comprehensive annual checkups with free screenings at the workplace.
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Mobile Care Coordinators.
Kenish, Samuel J.; Long, Betty; Benefits Magazine; v52 no3 pp 8-10 Mar 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : For years the Philadelphia Teamsters Local 830 Health and Welfare Fund had limited success getting members to manage health conditions through conventional case management. Things changed when the Teamsters Local 830 Mobile Care Coordinator (MCC) program was started, partnering with a team of registered nurses who were unaffiliated with an insurer but actively involved through personal outreach to help members make health decisions and navigate the health care system. The MCC team received information from the insurer on individuals who could benefit from assistance, being hospitalized or scheduled for a complex procedure. Nurses would call and make home and hospital visits. A case study describes the timely support given to one family from diagnosis through recovery. During the one-year pilot program the MCC intervened in 1,161 cases with increasing reliance on the MCC nurses.
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Taking on the Inevitable: Diabetes in the Workplace.
Short, Etta; Benefits Magazine; v52 no3 pp 26-31 Mar 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : A 2014 medical study projects two in five Americans will develop type 2 diabetes, making the demand for effective intervention urgent. For the over one in three with prediabetes, weight loss and increased physical activity can help stave off the disease. Though many employer health plans offer weight loss programs, few employees are motivated to make the lifestyle changes needed to prevent diabetes or to manage the disease. Supportive guidance and behavioral health coaching focusing on achieving small, realistic goals are important to help overcome the many barriers to weight loss.
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Quick Look: Wellness Trends.
Benefits Magazine; v52 no2 p 12 Feb 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Wellness initiatives such as employee assistance programs and flu shots have become commonplace, while several less traditional initiatives are gathering steam.
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Workforce Health: The Transition From Cost to Outcomes to Business Performance.
Parry, Thomas; Sherman, Bruce; Benefits Quarterly; v31 no1 pp 32-38 1st Qtr 2015; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Soaring health care costs have long been a driving concern for employers, but concerns have shifted from pure cost management to business performance supported by employee health. Chronic health conditions are major sources of absenteeism and presenteeism resulting in lost productivity and direct and indirect costs. Healthy employees have a positive influence on business outcomes. Employers must recognize how health and productivity are integrated and how they can influence business performance through organizational culture and structure, employee wellbeing and employee health engagement.
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An Airline Confronts Cancer in the Workforce.
Shebel, Brenna; Zonakis, Lynn; Benefits Magazine; v51 no12 pp 14-18 Dec 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The National Institutes of Health estimate that in 2009 cancer cost the health care system $86.6 billion in direct medical costs and $130 billion in indirect mortality costs. Delta Air Lines, Inc. is addressing cancer in the workforce by implementing the recommendations of the National Business Group on Health. They promote early detection by completely covering recommended screenings for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer and communicating the importance of each via assorted approaches. Delta supports employees diagnosed with or in treatment for cancer with case management and one-on-one support. Employees are directed to the best care and treatment by their support nurses, who help employees select a center of excellence. These nurses also help the employee confirm the treatment plan, teach the benefits of adhering to a treatment plan and provide ongoing support to manage side effects and symptoms.
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Demonstrating High Performance at an On-Site Corporate Health Center.
Dalal, Karl; Khoury, Allan; Nyce, Steve; Benefits Quarterly; v30 no4 pp 55-67 4th Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : When BP America established a full service health and wellness clinic at its Houston, Texas, site, Towers Watson evaluated several factors to help fill a research gap on the effectiveness of such centers. The site serves over 10,000 employees and contractors, 60 percent men, with higher rates of asthma, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions than in other BP locations. The center's performance was evaluated over 18 months using a value chain approach considering cost, quality and utilization metrics from April 2011, six months before opening, through the 2012 plan year and compared to local market patterns and other BP locations in the U.S. Utilization for the study site spiked in 2012, resulting in higher medical and pharmacy costs as services were shifted from the community. Emergency room use and inpatient and outpatient hospital visits were lower for clinic users, and generic drug dispensing rates were higher than for nonusers. Reduced outpatient hospital visits offset costs of higher clinic utilization. Cost trends were comparable to the community and slightly higher than other BP locations, with drug costs outpacing medical costs. Return on investment for the introductory period was slightly short of the breakeven point.
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What's Working: Wellness Incentives.
Vogel, Chris; Benefits Magazine; v51 no10 pp 11-13 Oct 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : A variety of high demands led to deteriorating health for clergy and lay employees of the 685 United Methodist churches around Houston, Texas. The church's Texas Annual Conference embarked in 2007 on a wellness program with a disease management component, reaching 64 percent participation. With the addition of financial incentives, overall health costs started declining. The 2008 annual Day of Wellness at Houston Methodist Hospital, offering a range of screenings, educational and coaching opportunities and incentives for weight loss, spurred participation further. Additional components have been added, including mental health benefits, an employee assistance program and more incentives for disease management. The program is continually tweaked to improve engagement, and data on hospitalizations, emergency room visits and other cost trends are monitored. The result over eight years is stable employer and employee contributions, increased benefits and savings in reserve.
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On-Site Clinics in a Post-ACA World.
Alvidrez, Jorge; Duncan, Ian; Benefits Magazine; v51 no9 pp 30-36 Sep 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The focus of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on wellness and patient-centered medical homes has strengthened the role of on-site health clinics. About one in four midsize to large employers offers a clinic, typically focusing on occupational health, acute care, preventive care, wellness, disease management and some types of specialty care. Given the cost and range of clinic options available, a staged approach to implementation may work best. Calculations of return on investment should include the value of primary care access in the context of productivity and outside costs, as the clinic becomes the focal point for employee health benefits. Communication, feedback and acceptance are key for success. Vendor contracting is likely to change, and third-party administrators should have access to integrated health data for meaningful analysis. Clinics, as group health plans, are subject to a range of privacy, security, reporting and other regulatory obligations.
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