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.


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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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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What's Working: Prevention Reaps Rewards.
Plans & Trusts; v32 no4 pp 4-6 Jul-Aug 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The British Columbia Public Service Agency, which serves the 26,000 public workers in B.C., started a pilot project with Pacific Blue Cross in 2007 to demonstrate the business value of wellness. Early biometric assessments caught urgent and semiurgent cases, substantially and the first six months resulted in fewer elevated blood pressure and cholesterol cases and lower risk factors for a third of participants. Considering the return on investment and knowing their cold and flu and smoking cessation programs were effective, the agency focused on behaviors influencing health. Injury prevention, training and education and mental health support through the employee assistance program were combined with case management by occupational health nurses helping employees return to work. Access to worksite clinics and an updated online risk assessment tool and health information help the agency lower sick costs by $300,000.
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High-Quality Communication Critical for Advanced Illness Patients.
Patella, Matthew; Benefits Magazine; v51 no6 pp 14-17 Jun 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Extended longevity, the increase in chronic illness and advanced medical treatment options have saved lives but created challenges in balancing care delivery with personal decisions. In many cases, the result is overtreatment that can undermine quality of life preferences. Many patients with less than half a year of expected life would choose palliative care over aggressive treatment. Communications in such situations are complicated by psychological, sociocultural, religious and other influences. The patient, physician and loved one may not communicate effectively about treatment options and wishes at a time of crisis. Ideally these stakeholders have an advance directive for the patient to follow with medical power of attorney forms ready and available. Health plan sponsors can encourage active planning and timely, high-quality communication for medical decisions.
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What's Working: Integrated Population Health Management.
Moggio, Richard; Benefits Magazine; v51 no2 pp 10-12 Feb 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Like most other organizations, global defense contractor L-3 Communications faced rising health care costs. To get a handle on costs and improve employee health, a disease management program was started in 2007 but was impeded by the lack of integrated services and data to judge the program's effectiveness. The program was revised to work with a single disease management vendor and focus heavily on data, including claims data analysis and segmenting the employee population by health risk levels. With the discovery that 20 percent of the workforce drove 80 percent of costs, personalized and targeted education and intervention were started. Special outreach efforts were made for members at high risk, who permitted their patient data to be shared with their physicians. Incentives were offered for all to boost participation and engagement, with higher incentives for high-risk members. The effectiveness of the program using evidence-based clinical metrics was apparent in health and cost outcomes after four years.
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The Changing Role of Pharmacy Benefit Administration in Managing Chronic Conditions.
Zimmerman, Allan; Benefits Quarterly; v30 no1 pp 13-18 1st Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Pharmacy benefit administration should be a major part of managing the cost and care of chronic diseases. Monitoring and improving medication adherence is a powerful strategy for chronic disease treatment. Medication therapy management is a group of services that studies indicate has a generally positive effect on the quality of life of chronic disease patients and the cost of chronic disease care. Reconfiguring pharmacists and other ancillary health care professionals into a multidisciplinary collaborative care model is one of the most efficient methods of delivering care. Sponsors have the responsibility of defining the treatment and support model for chronic disease patients.
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Employer-Sponsored Medical Clinics: Much More Than Convenience Care.
Brugh, Victor M. II; McCarthy, Mac; Benefits Quarterly; v30 no1 pp 19-24 1st Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : Some employer-sponsored medical clinics are taking on an important role in the management of employees' chronic conditions, helping employers control their health care costs. Clinics that are successful at improving employee productivity and containing costs share several common characteristics. They are part of an integrated health and wellness strategic plan, their management understands that plan, their staff members are trusted by employees, staff and management both understand the rest of the organization's health and wellness programs, they are held accountable to their employers and they monitor both clinical and nonclinical results. An onsite clinic that fully leverages its potential needs to be able to identify patients likely to incur large health care expenses and those with manageable conditions. A number of factors may cause employers to gain more benefit from onsite clinics, including an older workforce, health care costs above average for the area, high usage of emergency departments by employees and shortages of primary care physicians in the area.
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The Evolution of the Management of Chronic Illness.
Cryer, Michael; Winkler, Jim; Benefits Quarterly; v30 no1 pp 8-12 1st Qtr 2014; journal article

Availability : International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Abstract : The frequency and severity of chronic illnesses have significantly added to the cost burden of health care, driven by hypertension, cholesterol disorders, respiratory disorders and diabetes. In the past, employers' chronic disease management programs have focused on data acquisition, predictive modeling through patient identification and risk stratification, telephone enrollment, engaging in a coaching relationship and final reporting and analytics, looking for a change in clinical metrics. But engagement starts low at the enrollment stage and declines, showing motivation to be key. The modern approach to condition management relies on face-to-face interaction through company clinics and use of the patient-centered medical home model. The essential element is connecting the patient with a readily available treating physician.
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