Category Archives: Employers

The Rise in Global Obesity: Why this Matters to Employers

Earlier in the summer, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed that more than 10 percent of the world’s population is now obese. For better or worse, it’s common to hear about the prevalence of obesity in the United States.  It is better because there are numerous public health campaigns and […]
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Do well-being programs make employees more engaged?

For decades, employers have focused on well-being programs’ impact on cost savings. Today, they’re realizing programs may also affect less tangible, but no less important, engagement metrics such as employee attitudes, loyalty, productivity, recruitment and retention. In partnership with National Business Group on Health® (NBGH), Optum® surveyed 1,200 full-time employees from large U.S. employers (3,000+ […]
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“Do I need to cleanse my gut?” and other thoughts about bacteria

If you’ve seen commercials on TV or scanned the dairy aisle at your local grocery store, you may have noticed the recent trend encouraging people to try supplements, yogurts and other products intended to help people improve their health by cleansing their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. As a dietitian, I get many questions from my clients […]
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Sit-Stand Adjustable Desks: Should you invest now?

By now it’s common knowledge that prolonged sitting is harmful to our health. Headlines such as “Is Sitting is the New Smoking” and “Is Sitting Killing Me” have alerted the general public to the negative effects of sitting all day – from to weight gain and fatigue to muscle tension and low back pain.   […]
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Extreme fitness: Inspiring or intimidating?

Lately it seems as though everywhere you turn, extreme fitness shows are popping up. NBC’s American Ninja Warrior® just started its eighth season and has a faithful following. Spartan Races® recently debuted on primetime TV as well, targeting fitness buffs and couch potatoes alike. Flip through Facebook and you’re likely to see a number of […]
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Are your on-site group fitness programs reaching ALL employees – even those in the back row?

Savvy employers know that implementing an effective workplace wellness program goes beyond simply trying to reduce health care costs – it’s also about establishing a culture of health and engaging employees to adopt and sustain meaningful, long-term healthy lifestyle changes that drive increased employee productivity and overall wellbeing. Employees spend most of their waking hours […]
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Managing the high costs of congenital heart disease

About 40,000 children are born with congenital heart defects every year in the U.S. Many of these children need multiple surgeries and a lifetime of medications to keep their hearts functioning. There are low occurrences of congenital heart disease (CHD) because the condition is relatively rare. However, it is a high-cost and clinically complex condition […]
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Centers of Excellence help manage the high cost of congenital heart disease

Most case managers are unfamiliar with congenital heart disease (CHD) or how to identify it. For health plans, that’s a costly problem. CHD is a broad term, encompassing multiple, often complex diagnoses. It is present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and how it functions. More than 35,000 children are […]
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Traumatic events happen: Know when to call your Employee Assistance Program

Calling your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after a critical incident can make a huge difference in helping employees get back on their feet and minimizing workplace disruption. But do you always recognize such an incident when it’s happened? Some traumatic, or critical, events are obvious — fires, tornadoes, storms, workplace accidents. In other cases it […]
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Pay-for-value can improve behavioral health care

Paying for value not only helps drive improvements in behavioral health care and lower costs. It also inspires innovation in treatment and empowers consumers. Today at Optum, nearly 20 percent of our total spending on inpatient network-based behavioral health is tied to performance-based contracts. These contracts reward providers for collaboration, better patient outcomes and improved […]
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