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'Cultures of health' can save employers money

'Cultures of health' can save employers money

Posted by Paula Turnquist

In recent days, new surveys have continued to demonstrate something that many in the business world have long suspected: unhealthy employees cost businesses more in the long run, and things may be getting worse unless employers act.

'Cultures of health' can save employers moneyChronic diseases — and the burden associated with treating them — are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of national healthcare expenditures, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the most notable chronic diseases that fall under this category are diabetes, heart disease and pulmonary conditions. 

The CDC also notes that there are four main behaviors that increase the risk of developing these conditions: poor nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use and a lack of physical activity. By implementing workplace wellness programs, firms hope to offer their employees a way to eat better, stop smoking, get more exercise and drink less.

In some instances, this is as simple as serving healthier food in the company cafeteria and vending machines. But the CDC also argues that firms can work to create "cultures of health." When employers put financial and organizational resources behind wellness programs, employees are much more likely to take action to better their health. And when that happens, firms will find that they save money on health insurance costs. 

Posted by Paula Turnquist

Paula Turnquist joined Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in 2013 as sales manager of Employer Products. She is responsible for the sales of products and services ranging from employer group health plans to Executive Health and Occupational Medicine programs. Paula is originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is a Nursing and Health Care Administration graduate of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She has worked in healthcare since 1976 serving major hospital systems, physician practices, venture capital start-ups and large insurance carriers.

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Topics: Health and Wellness, Health Plans, Costs of Employee Benefits

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