Thursday, January 13, 2011

Save money, be healthy

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

What's good for the bottom is good for the bottom line, the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce has found.

Faced with rising health care costs, Chamber CEO Dave Csintyan wanted to know what he and his employees could do.

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That triggered an offer he couldn't refuse from Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, city-owned Memorial Health System and Kaiser Permanente. The three teamed up to make the Chamber's workers healthier with an incentive-based wellness program, Penrose says in a press release.

Based on results, the three each gave the Chamber $3,579 to recognize its efforts to promote wellness. The gifts were based on weight loss and lifestyle changes.

In June, all 20 employees of the Chamber were screened using standard biometric reporting to include; blood glucose, hypertension, cholesterol, body mass index, and smoking.
Participants were offered on-site personalized health coaching. Clients were seen an average of one time per month, with those with the greatest need being seen two or more times per month.
Participants were encouraged to set short and long term goals, set action plans, and monitor progress. The client’s readiness for change was accessed and strategies were developed to maximize the potential to achieve desired outcomes.

In September, all 20 employees were screened again and were found to have lost a total of 54 pounds. One stopped smoking, and the group logged 30,392 minutes of exercise, with several people beginning a fitness program for the first time.

“Good health and good business are inextricably linked,” Csintyan said in the release. “If you look hard enough you will find a healthy workforce informing your balance sheet with increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and a tighter focus on the business model. What started as a reactive comment to increasing health care premiums is quickly evolving into a cultural change where we control our destiny on both fronts … business and health. Thank you Penrose-St. Francis, Memorial and Kaiser Permanente for taking this journey with us!”

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