SOURCE: Orriant

Orriant

September 26, 2011 08:00 ET

Orriant Chief Chides CEOs for Rising Health Costs

"If CEOs Bought Supplies the Way They Buy Health Care, They'd Lose Their Jobs!"

SANDY, UT--(Marketwire - Sep 26, 2011) - A health industry leader has challenged corporate America to stop complaining about skyrocketing employee health costs and start doing something about it.

In a hard-hitting article in Forbes magazine, Orriant chief Darrell Moon chastised CEOs for their passivity in the face of rising health insurance costs, now the third-largest expenditure for businesses after wages and benefits.

"If CEOs bought supplies the way they buy health care, they'd lose their jobs," Moon insisted. "They buy health plans through vendors who have no incentive to lower costs. And then they give it to employees who have no incentive to get healthier and reduce claim costs to the company. It's nuts!"

Instead, said Moon, CEOs must remember the first rule of business: to achieve an objective -- be it launching a new product or reducing their health costs -- they must incentivize their employees and suppliers to help them succeed.

Moon had two suggestions for CEOs:

Incentivize lower-cost health plans: Most employers today buy health insurance with the help of brokers who earn more when the company pays more for insurance. Instead, companies should offer their brokers bonuses to lower their insurance costs. Put the proper incentives in place inside the company as well, said Moon, by rewarding HR managers for health cost reductions they achieve.

Change the way your employees use the health plan: Research demonstrates that wellness programs have a big impact on employee health -- and on the employer's bottom line. A study by Harvard health economist Katherine Baicker found that "medical costs fall by $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absenteeism costs fall by $2.73 for every dollar spent."

This is especially true with the new accountability-based wellness programs that offer major financial incentives to motivate employee participation -- and then personalized individual health coaching to sustain it. Employees who participate in Oriant's accountability-based wellness programs have claim costs 35 percent lower than those of non-participants.

"There's no doubt that healthier employees make for a healthier bottom line," Moon notes. "But as with any other objective, the CEO has to incentivize people to achieve it."

Orriant is a Sandy, Utah-based wellness company with participants in every state. For more information, go to www.orriant.com.

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