BOSTON — Employee wellness experts from Babcock & Wilcox, Caesars Entertainment and others spoke to the synergies that such a company as Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems can create across their health management strategies during a panel discussion here last week at the National Conference on Health, Productivity and Human Capital hosted by the National Business Group on Health.
Representing businesses that collectively employ more than 120,000 workers, the panelists discussed a number of emerging themes in employer-sponsored health care, including:
Investing in proactive and preventive care for employees to improve the health of employees while mitigating the trend of rising employer healthcare costs;
Utilizing workplace-based health centers to effectively prevent and treat such chronic diseases as hypertension and diabetes before they pose significant and costly health risks to employees; and
Designing benefits to incentivize employees to use such high-quality and affordable care options as retail clinics, as well as health systems and healthcare providers with proven track records of achieving exceptional patient outcomes.
“At B&W, our wellness strategy offers comprehensive and convenient health services to our workforce while at the same time reducing our costs,” stated Daniel Helman, B&W corporate director, environmental, health and safety. “By prioritizing the health of our employees, we’ve done right by our business and, even more importantly, we’ve done right by the tens of thousands of B&W team members who depend on us for access to tools that will allow them to be and stay well.”
B&W wellness strategy incorporates benefit design, health education and worksite health centers managed by Take Care Health Systems. Investments in employee health and wellness have yielded significant return, the company stated, effectively reversing the trend of rising healthcare spend. Health management programs at Caesars Entertainment and other Take Care clients also have yielded significant financial and health outcome-based results, according to the panelists.
“From small and mid-sized companies to the nation’s largest employers, businesses are weighing rising health and pharmacy costs with a desire to best meet the needs of their employees,” commented Paul VanDeventer, Walgreens divisional VP and host of the panel discussion. “Through our network of workplace health centers, community pharmacies, retail clinics and other healthcare assets, Walgreens is working to make sure employers don’t need to choose between the health of their workforce and the health of their bottom line. Our relationships with healthcare innovators such as B&W and Caesars bring new ideas and best practices to the forefront.”
Walgreens, through its subsidiary Take Care Health Systems, currently manages more than 350 workplace-based health centers with companies across the country.