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Weekly Article Roundup

March 18, 2011 / Uncategorized

All the news you need from this past week.

Data on employee needs can help focus wellness programs
Human Resource Executive
Lowering health costs is important, but successful wellness programs also require companies to understand their employees’ health, habits and lifestyle so decisions can be based on needs, experts told a Human Resource Executive Forum panel. Mark Bukowski of Aon Hewitt said employee data…

Wellness programs can help offset rising health costs
Business Insurance
Employers are looking to increase participation in wellness programs and offer consumer-driven health plans to temper rising health care costs and expected changes from the health care law, according to a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. The survey found a more than twofold increase in the use of outcomes-based financial incentives, such as lower premiums for keeping weight or cholesterol levels in check.

Michelle Obama emphasizes obesity’s cost to U.S. cities
USA Today
The 10 cities with the highest obesity rates are spending about $50 million in obesity-related costs per 100,000 residents, and they could collectively save nearly $500 million annually if they lowered their obesity rates to the national average, first lady Michelle Obama said Tuesday. In a meeting with…

Employers rapidly losing confidence in their ability to offer health care
TLNT.com
This is one of these big, landmark health care surveys that really can give you some insight into what is happening with American health care as organizations everywhere try to figure out that just what the new government mandates mean and what the impact will be on both cost and quality of care…

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medical costs can be blamed on obesity according to new research that suggests the nations weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated..One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely low-balled the costs and said the new study which places obesity-related medical costs at around 168 billion probably is closer to the truth.. I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date said Kenneth Thorpe a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care..The new research was done by John Cawley of Cornell University and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University. It was released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research a nonprofit nonpartisan research organization..An influential recent study released last year which has been cited by federal health officials estimated that obesity-related medical costs have reached 147 billion or about 9 percent of total medical costs..The earlier study also estimated that obesity adds about 1 400 to a persons annual medical bills.

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