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Research & Evidence
Our critical review of the existing evidence suggests that employer-based wellness initiatives may not only improve health, but may also result in substantial savings over even short-run horizons.
Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings
Mehnert, Anja. "Employment and work-related issues in cancer survivors." Critical Reviews in Oncology and Hematology, January 6, 2010.
Purpose of this systematic literature review was to identify current knowledge about employment in cancer survivors. Sixty-four studies met inclusion criteria that were original papers published between 01/2000 and 11/2009. Overall, 63.5% of cancer survivors (range 24–94%) returned to work. The mean duration of absence from work was 151 days. Factors significantly associated with a greater likelihood of being employed or return to work were perceived employer accommodation, flexible working arrangements, counseling, training and rehabilitation services, younger age and cancer sites of younger individuals, higher levels of education, male gender, less physical symptoms, lower length of sick leave and continuity of care. Cancer survivors had a significantly increased risk for unemployment, early retirement and were less likely to be re-employed. Between 26% and 53% of cancer survivors lost their job or quit working over a 72-month period post diagnosis. Between 23% and 75% of patients who lost their job were re-employed. A high proportion of patients experienced at least temporary changes in work schedules, work hours, wages and a decline in work ability compared to non-cancer groups.
Charles E. Kupchella, PhD. "Colleges and Universities Should Give More Broad-Based Attention to Health and Wellness-At All Levels." Journal of American College Health, September 1, 2009.
Higher education needs to give more broad-based attention to health and wellness. Our graduates will all have to deal with the facts that the general state of health of Americans is not good and our national health care system is badly in need of reform. We should offer innovative approaches to helping our graduates establish positive, lifetime health habits and we should demonstrate to them our own model approaches to promoting health and wellness through more effective health insurance and worksite wellness programs.
Mello, Michelle M., JD, PhD; Meredith B. Rosenthal, PhD. "Wellness Programs and Lifestyle Discrimination - The Legal Limits." New England Journal of Medicine, July 10, 2008.
In this article, we examine the extent to which employers and health plans can provide rewards or otherwise adjust individual health insurance costs based on the steps employees or plan members take to reduce their health risk.
Hannon, Peggy A., PhD, MPH; Jeffrey R. Harris, MD. "Interventions to Improve Cancer Screening Opportunities in the Workplace." American Journal of Preventive Medicine, July 2008.
All of the latest cancer screening intervention recommendations from the Community Guide can be implemented in the workplace via four important avenues: health insurance beneﬁts, workplace policies, workplace programs, and workplace communications. Health insurance affects workers’ access to and use of preventive care, including cancer screening. Workplace policies also can improve employees’ access to cancer screening. Workplace programs offer workers relatively easy access to and social support for cancer screening. Workplace communications can improve knowledge and shape beliefs, attitudes, and perceived norms about cancer screening, and about the health insurance beneﬁts, policies, and programs aimed at improving screening.
"MAKING THE BUSINESS CASE: How Engaging Employees in Preventive Care Can Reduce Healthcare Costs." C-Change, Spring 2008.
C-Change’s ―Making the Business Case initiative documents why employers should consider including scientifically proven cancer prevention and early detection services in their respective employee health insurance policies. Research has shown that prevention and early detection services, such as tobaccofree policies, tobacco cessation, as well as regular screenings, are proven methods of decreasing cancer risk among employees and increasing early diagnosis and associated medical care outcomes. The data also suggest that these cancer prevention and early detection services are effectively decreasing direct and indirect costs associated with cancer.
Fitch, Kate, RN, MEd; Kosuke Iwasaki, FIAJ, MAAA; Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA. "Covering Smoking Cessation as a Health Benefit." Milliman: Consultants and Actuaries, December 6, 2006.
This report provides information so employers can make informed choices based on the costs and benefits of smoking cessation programs – and compare these to other routinely provided benefits.
Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA, and Patricia A. Zenner, RN. "Cancer Screening: Payer Cost/Benefit thru Employee Benefits Programs." Milliman: Consultants and Actuaries, November 18, 2005.
This paper demonstrates that covering and promoting full compliance with established screening recommendations thru employer sponsored programs is low cost and cost effective for employee benefit programs.
Fitch, Kate, RN MEd; Kosuke Iwakaki, FIAJ, MAAA; Bruce Pyneson, FSA, MAAA. "Covering Smoking Cessation as a Health Benefit: A Case for Employers ." Milliman: Consultants and Actuaries, August 1, 2005.
Smoking is about choices. An individual can choose to try once again to quit, or an employer can choose to help those individuals quit by funding smoking cessation programs. This report provides information so employers can make informed choices based on the costs and benefits of smoking cessation programs – and compare these to other routinely provided benefits.
"A National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship: Advancing Public Health Strategies ." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 2004.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death among adults in the United States and affects an estimated 1 in 3 individuals in their lifetime, either through their own diagnosis or that of a loved one (ACS, 2003). Increasing innovations in medical technology have led to earlier diagnoses and improved treatment of many cancers, resulting in more people diagnosed with cancer surviving each year. Currently, approximately 62% of cancer survivors are expected to live at least 5 years after diagnosis (ACS, 2003). As of January 2000, there were approximately 9.6 million cancer survivors in the United States (NCI, 2003a). This estimate includes people diagnosed with cancer but does not include others affected by a diagnosis, such as family members and friends.
Fichtenberg, Caroline M.; Stanton A Glantz. "Effect of smokefree workplaces on smoking behaviour: systematic review." British Medical Journal, March 21, 2002.
Passive smoking is linked with cancer, heart disease, respiratory illness and is the leading source of indoor airpollution. In the United States, passive smoking has been linked to the deaths of at least 53 000 non-smokers each year, about one non-smoker for each eight smokers that tobacco kills.
We investigated the effects of smoke-free workplaces on cigarette consumption and compared these effects with those obtained by raising taxes.
Arnold Barnett, PhD; Howard Birnbaum, PhD; Pierre-Yves Cremieux, PhD; A. Mark Fendrick, MD; and Mitchell Slavin, PharmD. "The Costs of Cancer to a Major Employer in the United States: A Case-Control Analysis." The American Journal of Managed Care, November 2000.
Reliable data on the costs and outcomes of different healthcare interventions are essential for efficient distribution of healthcare resources and evaluation of quality of healthcare.The National Institutes of Health estimates total annual costs for cancer in the United States at $107 billion annually. These cancer costs represented roughly 5% of all healthcare expenditures in 1995. These high healthcare costs translate into significantexpenses for US employers. As cancer treatment improves and the number of patients in remission or recovery increases, the management of cancer care is becoming increasingly important. This trend has led managed care organizations to focus on assessing the likely costs of cancer care and outcomes for different types of cancer.