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wellness digest–week of january 24

February 2, 2011

in wellness digest

a roundup of last week’s news that intrigued, inspired, informed or irritated.

1. prospects for private health insurance

booz & company aren’t the first, but they’re the latest to attest that employer-provided insurance won’t bite the dust as we implement health care reform.

“‘Booz & Company research suggests traditional employer-based insurance will remain a significant market that will erode more slowly and less steeply than commonly thought,’ the report says.”

2. AHA: make wellness part of healthcare workforce culture

to improve their workers’ health and influence the health of their patients, the american hospital association issued a report, “a call to action: creating a culture of health.” companies may breathe a sigh of relief as they see parallels between their efforts and those of hospitals.

“Most of the hospitals that offer programs are measuring participation, but only one-third of the respondents—not nearly enough—are measuring outcomes, such as how many employees lost how many pounds, quit smoking, or reduced their need for medications through exercise and diet.”

3. world health is critical; so is workplace wellness

in this open letter, humana chairman and CEO and chairman for the world economic forum’s workplace wellness alliance, mike mcallister, invites companies to join this new alliance and combat chronic illness.

“But we in the business community must do much more. I know how hard it is, given our tough challenges today, to invest the necessary energy and funds to subdue the risk factors for chronic disease. We still don’t really know, for instance, what approaches to combat chronic disease really make a difference. That’s sad, especially since half of those who die from chronic disease each year are in their productive years.

“This is where the Forum’s corporate collaborations can help. They will help enrich the effectiveness of systems against chronic disease. And they make even more progress when they include common targets and metrics to employ against the risk factors for these diseases.”

5. world economic forum wellness app

in conjunction with the creation of the workplace wellness alliance, the world economic forum introduced this wellness “app,” a tool created by the boston consulting group to determine the economic cost of illness in your workplace and the potential savings from targeted wellness interventions. hat tip: greg matthews.

6. insurers are scouring social media for evidence of fraud

first, recruiters. now, insurers. this article reports on how insurance companies are using facebook and other social networking sites to detect insurance fraud.

“Investigators who once followed people with cameras now sit behind desks ‘mining databases and searching Facebook,’ said Frank Scafidi, spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit that investigates suspect claims for insurance partners such as Allstate and State Farm.”

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