SOURCE: Virgin HealthMiles

Virgin HealthMiles

October 03, 2011 10:36 ET

Virgin HealthMiles Client OhioHealth: Prevention-Based Employee Wellness Contributes to Multi-Million Dollar Healthcare Cost Savings

OhioHealth Shares Best Practices on Creating a Workplace Culture of Health; Free Webinar Available for Viewing

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2011) - OhioHealth, a network of five hospitals in Central Ohio with more than 15,000 employees, is applying innovative, prevention-based strategies to combat a widespread business threat: rising healthcare costs. In line with industry data showing healthcare spending is 10 percent higher for hospital employees than for general employee populations1, OhioHealth has taken steps to support employees with largely-preventable conditions like obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes that were driving up their healthcare benefits costs. In 2006, OhioHealth rolled out its comprehensive "OhioHealthy" initiative to address these issues, but needed a physical activity component to better engage employees, provide validated data on the program's impact and automate what had been a manual-based effort. In 2009, OhioHealth introduced Virgin HealthMiles to help accomplish those key objectives.

Today, OhioHealth associates are nearly 10 percent more physically active than the average US adult. These improvements are mainly driven by Virgin HealthMiles' Pay-for-Prevention™ approach that lets associates earn up to $500 annually for becoming more physically active, and making better health and lifestyle decisions. And importantly, with this program, along with efforts to help associates be better consumers of their healthcare, OhioHealth's healthcare costs are under control.

"OhioHealth has held its medical plan premiums costs flat for nearly five years mainly as a result of our focus on wellness and prevention and consumerism strategies," reports Lisa Meddock, benefits manager for OhioHealth. "We've also recognized more than $14 million in medical insurance savings since the inception of the OhioHealthy initiatives and consumerism strategies, including the popular Virgin HealthMiles program for our associates."

View Free Webinar on OhioHealth's Best Practices in Curbing Healthcare Costs
Meddock shared best practices about how OhioHealth created an internal culture of health and lowered healthcare costs as part of a webinar entitled, "Measurable Results: Employee Health Programs for the Healthcare Industry." Meddock was joined on the webinar by Virgin HealthMiles executives, Jennifer Turgiss, Vice President Health Management, and Alan Larson, Healthcare Vertical Director; the group discussed the impact of lifestyle-related disease in the healthcare industry and how to measure the results of behavior shifts in employee health.

This webinar event was recorded and is available to view in its entirety by clicking here.

About Virgin HealthMiles
Virgin HealthMiles provides technology-based employee health programs that pay people to get active. The company's Pay-for-Prevention™ approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40 percent of employees who participate, which helps organizations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. Over 120 industry leaders representing more than 700,000 employees across the U.S, including American Diabetes Association, OhioHealth, Ochsner Health System, MWV, SunGard, SunTrust, and Timberland have selected Virgin HealthMiles' award-winning program for their employees. The company is a member of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. For more information, visit www.virginhealthmiles.com.

1Thomson Reuters study, Sicker and Costlier: Healthcare Utilization of U.S. Hospital Employees - http://interest.healthcare.thomsonreuters.com/forms/EMP-201109HHEReportRequestForm

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