A new group is urging businesses to improve the health of employees -- and says the move could save up to $30 billion a year in health care costs.
USA Today: Businesses Urged To Track Workforce Health
Out of frustration with decades of failed efforts to improve America's health and cut its health care spending, a new institute launched an effort Wednesday to attack the problem at work. The habits of working adults -- smoking, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating and high stress -- lay the groundwork for health problems years and decades later. Improving those health habits could dramatically reduce health care spending over the long term and make American workers more productive and competitive, said Derek Yach, executive director of the Vitality Institute for Health Promotion, a think-tank that aims to reduce non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and cancer (Weintraub, 6/18).
The Dallas Morning News: Commission Urges Firms To Report Employee Health Status
Companies should include employee health measures in their annual financial reports as part of a nationwide emphasis on preventive health care, an expert commission announced Wednesday. By informing shareholders of the health status of the workforce, companies can show how they emphasize improvements in productivity and innovation, the Vitality Institute Commission found. Healthier employees also mean lower health insurance costs. The commission estimated that acting on its recommendations would save the nation $22 billion to $30 billion a year in health care costs (Landers, 6/18).