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Companies to Impose Penalties for Lack of Participation in Health and Wellness

For years companies have been offering health and wellness programs to its employees. Often these programs include health screenings, questionnaires, weight loss, smoking cessation and fitness programs. Offering such programs is advantageous to the employer who may realize lower overall healthcare costs and decreased absentee rate of employees who participate. Therefore, many employers offer incentives to its employees to participate. In a survey conducted by Lincolnshire, 83 percent of companies polled say that they offer some sort of incentive for their employees who participate. The incentives ranged from lower health insurance premiums to cash and gift cards. Of this group surveyed, 5 percent stated that they used health insurance premium increases and penalties as the sole motivator for health and wellness program compliance. While motivating employee participation through positive incentives has been a best practice and generally thought of to be an effective strategy, it is interesting to note t ...

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Research Supports Flex Work Benefits for Employees and Companies

As companies continue to review employee benefits, flexible work arrangements should be considered as a way to not only attract new talent but also to retain employees and improve work-life balance. Flexible work arrangements may include employee directed schedules, telecommuting, reduction of hours, and leave opportunities. The amount of academic research over the past few decades has grown considerably but the implementation of these study results continues to be lagging. So why should an employer care about work-life balance? In addition to attracting and retaining employees, offering programs to improve work-life balance will also reduce absenteeism, employee turnover and increase productivity and improve job satisfaction. With an abundant amount of academic research available for companies to review, it is alarming that few of the studies ever reach the decision makers in the business world. Despite companies such as Yahoo and Best Buy making news this year for rolling back on flexible work sched ...

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Using Analytics can assistant companies in measuring and managing risk

Many companies in the health care industry are adopting the mantra “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.” The widespread use of electronic health care records is propelling this idea forward among industry professionals. The use of health care analytics, also known as business intelligence, is allowing researchers and consultants to review data and discover the best practices for prevention and treatment within the industry.  Although the goals are rather simple, they still appear to be intangible. They include identifying the best practices, and identifying what the cost should be and how it can be shared among the health care industry. Those who might benefit from these objectives include providers, patients, insurers, legislators and employers. The idea of population health management (PHM) that has historically been limited to those who practice public health looks to provide healthy outcomes for individuals as well as reducing the risk for higher-risk populati ...

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Health Benefits Surveys highlight ACA communication issues.

At the annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference in Chicago, the organization released the results of two recent surveys that focused on Health Benefits and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The studies highlighted that offering health care benefits is critical in attracting and keeping your best employees. As companies struggle to define what their health care offerings will be for 2014, trying to understand if your offerings will be competitive in the marketplace is becoming difficult. Many companies still do not know what they will, or won’t, be offering in 2014. In addition, some of the terms of the ACA are still being defined as the calendar year is running out. A full 25% of the companies surveyed indicated they are having great difficulty in staying abreast of the ACA requirements. Even as some companies are making decisions and designing their 2014 plans, communicating those options and plans to employees is a continuous struggle, according to the surveys. Companies are try ...

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Help your workers solve their own tech problems

Many offices in the St. Petersburg, FL area are following the trend of having employees bring their own electronic devices to the workplace. For example, sometimes employers offer a monthly stipend to employees who use their own mobile phone for work during the day. Many times, the workers spend significant time working from the road, or out of home offices. Example bring-your-own-device (BYOD) electronics include: Mobile phones with protective cases and charging cords. Tablets Computers Printers Cable Modems Wifi Routers Cellular Data Connections Keyboards and Computer Mice. The benefits include: Relieving the company of some expenditure burdens of having to purchase, or lease, the electronics. The company is relieved of the duties of tracking, inventory, and software upgrades. The help desk part of the IT organization can be one of the most expensive areas. A help desk almost always needs to scale up as due to the increasing number of employees at growing ...

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