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

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

Workplace benefits

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Health care and vacations rule. That’s the consensus from our reader poll on workplace benefits that help retain and recruit employees.


Read more...

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


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