Companies take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity
PORTLAND, Ore. – Regence BlueCross BlueShield has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more. Regence was also awarded an American Heart Association innovation award for its wellness partnership with Portland’s Sister City communities as part of the 2011 Rose Festival and Regence Grand Floral Walk.
“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Regence. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Company,” said Mark Ganz, Regence CEO. “We’re committed to helping build healthier communities and providing the best workplace environment possible to employees.”
- Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace
- Increase healthy eating options at the worksite
- Regence offers 35% discount on health Café Blue food choices
- Promote a wellness culture in the workplace
- A holistic program is refreshed annually to keep employees engaged
- Regence offers on-site gyms/gym discounts, and on-site nutrition programs like Weight Watchers
- Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellnes.
- Fewer absences and slower medical claims growth resulted in a return on investment of $1.78
- Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture
The Fit-Friendly Companies Program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping companies make their employees’ health and wellness a priority.
American employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The Fit-Friendly Companies Program helps change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
“The Fit-Friendly Companies Program offers a unique, easy-to-implement opportunity for corporations to increase employees’ physical activity, which will help improve their health – and their employers’ bottom line,” said Amy Walloch, Regence manager of wellness programs.
“Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”
For more information about the Fit-Friendly Companies Program and how it is helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on an activity that is convenient, free and easy, call (503) 233-0100 or visit oregonheart.org.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.
Regence is a leading health insurer in the Northwest / Mountain State Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. We serve nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit regence.com. Regence Health plans are subsidiaries of Cambia Health Solutions.