SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

November 06, 2007 12:19 ET

National Business Group on Health Unveils "Investing in Maternal and Child Health: An Employer's Toolkit"

New Publication Designed to Help Employers Offer Healthcare Coverage for Mothers and Children

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 6, 2007) - A new guide designed to help employers improve the health of children, adolescents, and pregnant women, as well as potentially reduce their healthcare costs, was released today by the National Business Group on Health, a national non-profit organization representing 280 large employers.

"Investing in Maternal and Child Health: An Employer's Toolkit" is divided into seven sections. The core component of the "Toolkit" is the Maternal and Child Health Plan Benefit Model, a comprehensive, evidence-informed medical benefits package created specifically for children, adolescents, and pregnant women. The Plan Benefit Model was developed by an Advisory Board composed of business leaders and representatives from leading medical associations. In addition to providing guidance on benefit design, the Plan Benefit Model offers employer/employee cost-sharing recommendations and actuarial cost-impact data that employers can use to estimate the cost of adopting the recommended benefits for their covered population.

The "Toolkit" also includes:

--  Data on the cost of maternal and child healthcare services.
--  The business case for investing in child and adolescent health,
    healthy pregnancies, and primary care services for all beneficiaries.
--  Tools employers can use to develop a maternal and child health
    strategy, communicate the value of their maternal and child health
    benefits, and link maternal and child health outcomes to organizational
    performance.
--  A benchmarking crosswalk linking Maternal and Child Health Plan
    Benefit Model recommendations to current HEDIS measures.
--  Strategies employers can use to engage their employees in family
    health promotion.
--  Employer case studies.
--  Education materials for employees about important maternal and child
    health topics.
    

"The health of women and children is important to employers. Maternal and child healthcare services account for $1 out of every $5 large employers spend on health care. Additionally, a substantial proportion of employees' lost work time can be attributed to children's health problems. And pregnancy is a leading cause of short- and long-term disability and turnover for most companies," stated Helen Darling, President of the National Business Group on Health.

"Children and pregnant women need benefits tailored to their unique needs and designed to foster their health, growth, and development. The Maternal and Child Health Plan Benefit Model is an excellent prototype," noted Peter van Dyck, Associate Administrator for Maternal and Child Health, at the Health Resources and Services Administration. "Improving the health of children, adolescents, and pregnant women advances the health of the Nation and will lead to a healthier future workforce."

"For employers, investing in maternal and child health is smart and good for the bottom line. There are near and long-term payoffs in reduced direct and indirect health expenses as well as increased workforce productivity. These benefits are also key to workforce attraction and retention," stated Lew Yeouze, Worldwide Partner at Mercer and a member of the Advisory Board.

"The National Business Group on Health is strongly committed to helping employers make healthcare services for mothers and children an integral part of their overall employee health benefit program. Introducing 'Investing in Maternal and Child Health' is an important step to help achieve that goal," concluded Ms. Darling.

"Investing in Maternal and Child Health" is the culmination of a partnership between the Center for Prevention and Health Services at the National Business Group on Health, and the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Electronic copies of "Investing in Maternal and Child Health" are available to the public at no charge by visiting: www.businessgrouphealth.org/healthtopics/maternalchild/investing

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health, representing 280 large employers, is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to large employers' most important healthcare and related benefits issues. National Business Group on Health members provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees, and their families.

Contact Information

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