HealthFitness applauds State of Nebraska’s employee health program as first state government to receive the C. Everett Koop National Health Award
State is enjoying a $4.2 million reduction in claims after just three years
MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 24, 2012 –For the first time, a state employee health management program has been named a winner of the C. Everett Koop Award National Health Award, which includes stringent requirements for demonstrating health improvements and cost savings. HealthFitness applauded today’s announcement by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman that the State of Nebraska wellness program, “wellnessoptions,” earned the prestigious honor. The program is supported by HealthFitness.
“I’m thrilled Nebraska is the first state to win this prestigious award,” said Gov. Heineman. “Due to health improvements and increased use of preventive screenings, the State of Nebraska is controlling health care costs which benefit the State’s workforce and Nebraska taxpayers across the entire state. This award is further evidence of how hard our employees have worked to improve their health.”
After just three years, the State of Nebraska is enjoying a $4.2 million reduction in claims, strong participation rates and high satisfaction among employees. The resulting return on investment in the program is above the industry average: For every $1 spent on the program, $2.70 is returned in health care savings (based on an independent review of claims data).
As the U.S. faces the problem of rapidly rising health care costs, coupled with an epidemic increase in obesity rates, Koop Award winners demonstrate that forward thinking employers can simultaneously improve their workers’ health and reduce spending.
In addition to receiving the 2012 C. Everett Koop Award, the State of Nebraska wellness program has also previously been awarded two other prestigious national awards: the 2011 Gold Well Workplace by the Wellness Councils of America and the 2011 Innovations Award from the Council of State Governments.
C. Everett Koop award applications are independently reviewed and rigorously scored by some of the nation’s leading experts and researchers in the area of health management. Reviewers place the most scoring emphasis program evaluation and results. The State of Nebraska is joined by only one other 2012 C. Everett Koop Award winner L.L. Bean, Inc., which is also a HealthFitness client. Three honorable mentions were also named, and 13 other award applications did not meet the award requirements. More information about the C. Everett Koop National Health Award winners is available at www.TheHealthProject.com.
When the State of Nebraska launched the program in 2009, it became one of the first states to offer an integrated wellness initiative that is tied to health plan coverage. The Wellness health plan features 100 percent coverage of preventive health care, lower premiums and value-based health and prescription offerings.
“The State of Nebraska has demonstrated true leadership with a leading-edge program that infuses a culture of health among employees,” said Paul Lotharius, HealthFitness president and CEO. “Winning the prestigious 2012 C. Everett Koop Award demonstrates its commitment to the people, process and technology it takes to plan and implement a best-in-class model—one that other states can look to for better employee health and lower costs.”
Private employers have implemented health management programs for more than three decades in an effort to improve employee health and lower health claims costs. But the State of Nebraska is one of only a few public employers that embraced the strategy of offering health improvement opportunities to lower employee health care costs. HealthFitness, a leading provider of health management services, supports the program with confidential annual health risk assessments, on-site biometric screening, health coaching and lifestyle improvement programs.
The wellness program has more than doubled the rate of participants completing preventive screenings, which enabled detection of conditions at an earlier stage, while helping participants learn about their personal health risk factors that can lead to unhealthy outcomes downstream. More than 500 cases of pre-cancer and early-stage cancer were detected for the first time through the program, resulting in early treatment for the condition. Other areas of health care savings include:
- Lower prescription utilization—a 3 percent reduction in 2011 among wellnessoptions enrollees as a result of improved lifestyles;
- Fewer emergency room visits;
- Fewer hospital admissions; and
- Shorter hospital stays.
A recently published Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) Case Study showcases the program’s components and strategy that the State of Nebraska took to lower costs while improving the health for 13,500 employees (including retirees and COBRA participants) and 7,000 spouses.
For further information about the State of Nebraska’s successful health management program, view the infographic or download the WELCOA Case Study called “First of its Kind: The State of Nebraska’s Integrated Plan for Health” at healthfitness.com.
HealthFitness, a subsidiary of The Trustmark Companies, is an award-winning, NCQA-accredited provider of population health management solutions. With 30-plus years of experience, HealthFitness is a proven leader and partner for infusing a culture of health. We maximize client results through personalized interaction and a science-based approach to on-site program management, engagement, prevention, and health and lifestyle management. HealthFitness provides a portfolio of solutions, including best-in-class integration, condition management, INSIGHT® Health Risk Assessments, screenings, EMPOWERED Coaching™ and fitness facility design and management. For more information on HealthFitness, visit http://healthfitness.com/.