CIGNA Expands Onsite Health Programs.

Bringing health and wellness programs directly to the workplace is the work of CIGNA Onsite Health, which has built an extensive suite of onsite capabilities as an integral part of the health management programs CIGNA (NYSE:CI) provides to employers and their workers. CIGNA said it is expanding these onsite capabilities through the acquisition of Kronos Optimal Health Company, a Phoenix-based health and wellness company that specializes in lifestyle management programs, face-to-face coaching, biometric screenings and health education programs.

“Creating the right avenue for individuals to get involved in improving health means offering different ways they can do so, based on their own personal preference, whether that’s over the phone, online, or in person,”  said Kurt Weimer, president, CIGNA Onsite Health. “With the addition of Kronos to the CIGNA team, we can now offer our onsite services on a larger scale. We can also integrate these services with our other health management programs most effectively to help drive engagement and improve the health and well-being of the people we serve.”

CIGNA Onsite Health offers full-service onsite clinics, pharmacy services, one-on-one health coaching, biometric screenings and flu shots and onsite/online health improvement programs delivered in a classroom setting, as well as employee assistance programs (EAPs). It is led by a management team with 40 years experience in operating multi-specialty group practices, urgent care centers, pharmacies, laboratory services and convenience care clinics.

Weimer said that employers are growing increasingly proactive about prevention, recognizing that many of the leading causes of illness, disability and premature death in the United States are largely preventable. He also said that employers also recognize that people are more likely to be on the job and performing well if they’re healthy in mind and spirit, and many companies continue to invest in worksite health and wellness programs with an eye toward making it more convenient and cost effective for employees to take care of basic health care needs during the work day.

Eemployers enhancing onsite offerings

According to a recent report by Watson Wyatt (now part of Towers Watson) and the National Business Group on Health, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of employers have already enhanced their onsite offerings with programs geared toward stress management, EAPs or health coaches, or expect to do so in the next 12 months. The report also concludes that companies with effective health and productivity programs are also more likely to have lower health care costs, lower levels of absenteeism and presenteeism, fewer lost days due to disabilities and lower levels of turnover relative to their industry peers.1

Weimer said that while employers’ investments in worksite wellness programs have continued even despite the economic downturn, key challenges for employers include:

* ensuring all of the different programs they offer are coordinated and information is integrated;
* encouraging employees to actively participate in the programs so that health improvement and productivity savings can be realized; and,
* measuring the collective return on investment for all of their health and productivity programs.

“Working with one health service company to give employees a range of services helps provide the consistency, referral coordination and holistic clinical approach that many employers are seeking, especially if they have employees in multiple locations,” Weimer said. “It also streamlines communications with employees to raise their awareness of the programs available to them, and better enables the measurement and reporting of program outcomes.”

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