By: Paul Cantwell – President of HealthCorp Solutions

Employers have a significant opportunity to impact their bottom line as well as the health of Americans. Studies clearly show that demand is driving health care cost at an upward trend with no end in sight. It is up to employers to drive the necessary change all around.

In this economy, employers are operating with fewer people and doing more with less. Productivity and the ability for American companies to compete globally are highly dependent on the health of the American workers. Health risks decrease productivity and are the major reason health care costs are out of control.

The end of the year rate shopping exercise does nothing to address the underlying risk that is causing the rate increases and sapping corporate profits. A major paradigm shift to a culture of Health and Productivity Management (HPM) is required.

According to Dee Eddington of the Health Management Research Center, at the University of Michigan, “We must change the conversation from viewing health as the absence of disease to health as vitality and energy.”

Employers have the most to gain when employees are more productive. Employees spend most of their day at work and are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health according to the Partnership for Prevention. High risk employees are 12% less productive than low risk employees according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

There are many threats to the health of employees and their daily productivity. The National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention says that chronic illnesses in the American workforce includes: sedentary lifestyle 60% of workers, smoking 25%, obesity 20%, active heart disease 27%, Diabetes 10%, high cholesterol 50%, high blood pressure 24% and those with depression or distressed mental state 50%.

Health and Productivity Management addresses the need for a clear vision. Health and Productivity Management also includes a mission and a set of values to implement an overall strategy that capitalizes on organic productivity increases within the company.

All parties must move toward a culture of Health and Productivity Management. This requires having a clear vision from senior leadership, a vision that connects with the overall company strategy. A vision that is shared with employees regarding their worksite environment is very important.

A vision, a mission and a set of values, are most important when all aligned with a Healthy and Productive Culture. This high level of thinking should be linked to policies and procedures that promote a Healthy and Productive Culture.

To be aligned with a Healthy and Productive Culture, a benefit design needs to include accountability and responsibility. This benefit design will include individual assessments of risk as well as population programs like wellness modules, promotion of physical activity, and nutrition awareness.

The most effective Health & Productivity Management programs result in superior performance in 3 areas: 20% more revenue per employee, 16.1% higher market value, 57% higher shareholder returns. These programs have shown increases at rates exponentially lower than national averages: 5 times lower in sick leave, 4.5 times lower for long term disability, 4 times lower for short term disability, and 3.5 times lower for general health coverage according to a National Business Group on Health / Watson Wyatt survey.

There are ways for employers to take control of health care costs by using the necessary tools. These tools of Health and Productivity Management are already available through proactive health care risk consultants. These proactive health care risk consultants implement Health and Productivity Management techniques to act as strategic partners to aid their client’s success.

About Paul Cantwell
Paul Cantwell has led HealthCorp Solutions since its inception. As President and Chief Risk Officer, he leads the corps of Risk Consultants in creating low-risk, high yield customized solutions for clients resulting in significant profit impact and savings, not only in cost, but in time and effort. For more information look for the Results Statement and Advisor Comparison links at http://www.healthcorpsolutions.com/pages/sitemap.html
Or to request a copy, go to http://www.healthcorpsolutions.com/pages/contact%20page.html
Make sure to include the words RESULTS STATEMENT or ADVISOR COMPARISON

KEYWORDS
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Author's Bio: 

About Paul Cantwell
Paul Cantwell has led HealthCorp Solutions since its inception. As President and Chief Risk Officer, he leads the corps of Risk Consultants in creating low-risk, high yield customized solutions for clients resulting in significant profit impact and savings, not only in cost, but in time and effort. For more information look for the Results Statement and Advisor Comparison links at http://www.healthcorpsolutions.com/pages/sitemap.html
Or to request a copy, go to http://www.healthcorpsolutions.com/pages/contact%20page.html
Make sure to include the words RESULTS STATEMENT or ADVISOR COMPARISON