SOURCE: Virgin HealthMiles

Virgin HealthMiles

September 14, 2010 09:43 ET

Virgin HealthMiles to Focus Healthcare Policy on Prevention at Prominent Fall 2010 National Conferences

Company Executives to Speak at Colloquy Loyalty Summit, World Congress 5th Annual Obesity and Wellness Congress, 2010 Integrated Care Summit and 2nd Annual Retail Health Clinics Congress

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 14, 2010) -  Rising healthcare costs. Confusing healthcare reform policies. Under-utilized wellness programs. These are just a few reasons why HR executives, healthcare industry leaders, and policy makers seek insight from industry-leading providers with first-hand experience in how to make employee health and wellness programs effective and measurable. Virgin HealthMiles is at the forefront providing strategic guidance and practical steps to implement and sustain effective employee health programs.

Continuing in their thought leadership roles, Virgin HealthMiles CEO Chris Boyce and President Sean Forbes share their perspectives about the role of prevention in employee health programs at four national industry conferences this fall.

Forward-thinking businesses recognize that costly and preventable lifestyle-driven behaviors have the potential to spark a profitability crisis of epic proportions for U.S. companies. Healthcare costs are expected to rise by about 8.9 percent in 2011, according to a National Business Group on Health report released in August, continuing the trend seen in recent years. What's more, 85 percent of companies believe simply extending insurance to Americans, a key feature of the new health reform legislation, won't make individuals healthier, according to a recent study conducted by Virgin HealthMiles in conjunction with Workforce Management magazine. Insurance alone won't solve the problem of preventable, lifestyle-related disease. Consider that chronic disease -- the majority of which are preventable -- account for 75% (or $1.5 trillion) of healthcare costs impacting businesses and their employees today. Keeping people healthy and out of the healthcare system in the first place will have the most significant impact on costs.

During the upcoming conferences, Boyce and Forbes will draw from their experiences working with more than 120 U.S. companies to engage employees to be active and healthy, and will share insights on why a new generation of prevention is key to helping corporate America get ahead of rising healthcare costs. Virgin HealthMiles' Pay-for-Prevention™ approach has helped companies create a culture of health, align their interests with those of their employees, and design incentives for healthy behaviors. Results include above industry-average employee engagement levels, improvements in employee health, and decreases in rising healthcare costs. 

Details of each conference follow:

2010 Colloquy Loyalty Summit in Phoenix, Arizona
September 16
th at 3:30-4:15 p.m.
"Feeling Better - Using Loyalty Recognition and Rewards to Improve Wellness" 
http://www.colloquy.com/2010-summit-agenda.htm
Boyce will participate in a panel discussion on how loyalty programs are being applied to wellness, and how they can motivate employees to live healthier lives and reduce healthcare costs.

World Congress' 5th Annual Obesity and Wellness Congress in Washington D.C.
September 30
th at 3:25-4:40pm
"Worksite Wellness - Why Employers Should Address the Obesity Epidemic"
https://www.worldcongress.com/agenda.cfm?level=inside&confCode=HL10088&agendaID=532&subAgendaID=1336
Forbes will participate in the closing key-note panel discussion on how to overcome employee resistance and facilitate positive behavior change with incentives to address the obesity epidemic. He will also address the "carrot versus stick" approach and creative strategies for motivating employee participation in employee health programs.

2010 Integrated Care Summit in Washington D.C.
October 15
th at 10:00-11:00 a.m.
"Creating a Culture of Prevention: Designing an Integrated Approach to Employee Health That Delivers Measureable Results"
http://www.dmaa.org/ics10/program_track4.asp
Boyce will discuss how creating a culture of prevention aligns the interests of companies and their employees to lower healthcare costs. He will also discuss wellness measurement strategies.

2nd Annual Retail Health Clinics Congress in Las Vegas, Nevada
October 25
th at 1:45-2:30 p.m.
"Retail Health Clinics and their Role in Employer Health and Wellness"
http://www.globalmediadynamics.com/upcoming-events/retail-health-clinics
Boyce will provide insight on how retail health clinics can directly bolster employee health and wellness programs. He will also discuss how to effectively utilize biometric data and other resources in order to measure and manage program effectiveness.

About Virgin HealthMiles
Virgin HealthMiles provides 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. The program is offered by employers, government entities, and insurers. Over 120 industry leaders representing more than 500,000 employees across the U.S., including American Diabetes Association, Intuit, MWV, OhioHealth, Ochsner Health System, Protective Life, 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

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