Employee Wellness


Efforts by US businesses to contain their health costs have become noteworthy in large part due to incentive programs that intend to reward employees for altering their lifestyles.  A lesser-known aspect of these trends is the evolution of health services provided in business settings that have adopted the thinking and approaches characterized by integrative medicine practices.

These transitions are well described in a recent report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Workplace Clinics: A Sign of Growing Employer Interest in Wellness.”

It observes:

The focus has shifted largely to health promotion, wellness, and an array of primary care services, rather than occupational health or convenience care.

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Re-born NIH Wellness Unit: Clinical-Research Factor?

Steve_Burd_Safeway02In April of 2008 I sat in the audience at the World Health Care Congress here in Washington and listened to Safeway CEO Steve Burd describe the impressive success his company attained by putting behavior-centric wellness programs into place. It was impressive, and I thought that the concept might find quick appeal among other self-insureds.

But I didn’t anticipate that the company’s “Healthy Measures” program would largely define a piece of the Senate’s health reform package. But here it is, referred to by its sponsor, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) as the “Safeway Amendment.” A good summary of how these approaches have arrived in the reform bill was published today in the Washington Post. (more…)