SOURCE: Orriant

Orriant

January 27, 2012 06:00 ET

Orriant Chief Calls on CEOs to Save the U.S. Health Care System

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - Jan 27, 2012) - A health industry leader today urged corporate America to stop complaining about skyrocketing employee health costs -- now the third largest expense for U.S. companies today -- and start doing something about it.

In a controversial article published today in Bloomberg View, the new editorial unit of the BusinessWeek media franchise, Darrell Moon, the chief executive of wellness program provider Orriant, chastised his fellow CEOs for what he termed "their curious passivity" in the face of employee health costs that have literally doubled in the last ten years.

"Chief executive officers," Moon wrote, are "failing to employ even the most basic management tools and economic incentives to deal with the problem" -- techniques that every one of them learned back in business school.

Moon then pointed to seven simple things that CEOs can do to reign in their spiraling employee health costs. These range from offering bonuses to human resource and benefit managers who reduce the company's health plan costs (but not its plan benefits), to targeting high-cost risk factors like depression for early intervention by employee assistance programs.

But the most important thing CEOs can do is to incentivize their own employees to get healthier. This, Moon insisted, is the real game-change for a company's bottom line.

That's because a new Gallup poll found that an astonishing 86 percent of all full-time employees in the U.S. are overweight or suffer from one or more chronic health conditions. So offering incentives like reduced premium contributions to employees willing to work with a health coach to change their health-related lifestyles makes simple economic sense, said Moon.

"The point is," wrote Moon, "that CEOs cannot keep handing out unlimited health benefits with no strings attached. Employees who don't even try to modify their health risks," he argued, "should pay more."

The article -- titled "It Takes a CEO to Save the U.S. Health Care System" -- also quotes health care author and thought leader Joe Flower: "We could have better healthcare at half the cost, without denying care to anyone, just by driving economic incentives back into the system."

Orriant is a Sandy, Utah-based wellness program provider serving companies nationwide. For more information, call 888-346-0990, email info@orriant.com, or go to www.orriant.com.

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