Home Archives April 2008 Assessing health risks to reduce costs

Assessing health risks to reduce costs

| Print |  Email
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

EmployeeStress.jpg

These days, the health of an employee means a lot. So, as health-care costs rise, more companies are recognizing the value of providing preventive care. In order to understand just what an individual should do now, to avoid everything from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and obesity in the future, many companies are turning to health-risk appraisals.

These questionnaires help take stock of an individual’s general health and wellness or identify the chance of developing specific diseases. The appraisals can include hundreds of questions or just a few, depending on their purpose.

The Oregon Center for Applied Science (ORCAS), a company that receives funding from the National Institutes of Health, has developed more than 100 behavior modification programs, many of which include health-risk appraisals. The programs tackle obesity, depression, alcohol abuse, smoking and stress.

“The goal of our programs is to help employees get the right kind of help,” says Stacey Schultz, ORCAS president and CEO. “We tailor solutions based on the results of their health-risk assessment. For example, if you don’t exercise frequently, we want to deliver a program that starts you out slower than someone who exercises frequently.”

But asking an employee to share details about their health with an employer creates obvious privacy concerns. In most cases, the process is HIPPA compliant, and outside entities handle all of the appraisal’s results and recommendations. As a precaution, both employers and employees should know upfront where the information will go and how it will be used.

As an incentive to take the health-risk appraisals and participate in subsequent programs, many companies offer employees reduced insurance premiums, knowing that in the end, healthy employees mean a better bottom line.

“Ultimately, these programs help make employees more productive,” Schultz says. “And if employees are healthier, there will be fewer health claims and benefit costs go down.”          

LUCY BURNINGHAM



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Gone Girl

News
Monday, September 29, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

The Backstory

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

In our cover story this month, Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, discuss their rapidly growing businesses and Portland’s red hot food scene. The conversation provides an interesting lens through which to explore trends in the grocery store and restaurant sectors.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS