SEATTLE, WA (November 19, 2007) - The old adage of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has been taken to heart by U.S. employers, according to a recent study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). The study found that while 60% of the 329 responding organizations do not have on-site medical facilities to deal with on-the-job illnesses and mishaps - a whopping 81% do have prevention-based "wellness" programs in place, and another 8% plan to implement one in the upcoming year.
Companies are not simply encouraging healthy behaviors, however. They're helping workers measure just how healthy they are. According to the study, 62% offer health risk assessments. Companies also offer a variety of incentives for employees choosing to participate in health assessments, ranging from free annual physicals and lab work to financial rewards and reduced health insurance premiums.
"Companies are overburdened by health insurance costs that keep rising faster than the rate of inflation, and they're justifiably concerned about issues such as the epidemics of obesity and diabetes." said i4cp Managing Editor Lorrie Lykins. "So, they're making sure that today's workplaces encourage healthy behavior as a counterweight to all the other social factors - from fast food to the proliferation of physically inactive jobs - that result in unhealthy behaviors. Wellness programs are one way that employers can do something about skyrocketing costs."
Of the companies which do have on-site medical facilities, more than half (52%) staff them with both doctors and nurses. The most common offering in these clinics is general medical care and screenings, including first aid. Thirty-two percent offer substance abuse screenings, and 15% offer depression screenings. The care is somewhat limited for off-hour shift workers, however, as only 37% of polled companies have after-hours on-site care available. Not surprisingly, on-site facilities are more common in larger companies. Fifty-three percent of companies with 5,000 or more employees have such facilities, and the percentage drops to 31% for companies employing less than 5,000.
When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of their facilities, however, most companies fall short. A full 61% percent of respondents admit they don't know if overall health care claims have fallen since on-site health facilities were implemented. Thirty-one percent reported that claims have decreased since on-site clinics were opened.
The On-Site Medical Facility Practitioner Consensus Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in October 2007.
About i4cp, inc.
Building on the 35-year history of its predecessor (the Human Resource Institute), the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp.) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including many of the best-known companies in the world, i4cp draws upon one of the industry's largest and most experienced research teams and executives-in-residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the management of people in organizations. Additionally, i4cp identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and "next practices" on these issues and trends. i4cp is a for-profit company with its headquarters in Seattle, WA, and research offices in St. Petersburg, FL.
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Membership Services Director, i4cp, inc.