July 3rd, 2007

Companies and Cancer

In the most recent issue of Fast Company there is an interesting article about the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer believes that it can make a difference in people’s lives by adopting the best practices to combat cancer. For most employees here, the most noticeable change was that smoking was no longer allowed anywhere on campus. But the overall program is much bigger than that. Companies that achieve CEO Gold Standard accreditation from the Roundtable have healthcare plans that cover preventive screenings for certain cancers and ensure quality care for cancer patients.

Through this, organizations save lives by improving the health and welfare of their workforce, There is also a business benefit. For instance, according to the Roundtable, by following the best practices needed to achieve CEO Gold Standard accreditation companies can save about $2.35 to $3.75 per employee per month.

As mentioned in an earlier post, creating healthier outcomes through prevention is a hot topic these days.

This isn’t a new concept for Johnson & Johnson. Our senior leadership has long believed that a healthy and productive workforce is not only good for our employees, but also good for our business. For the past two decades the company has helped its employees identify and then improve behaviors that threaten their health and well being. It’s pretty simple. Through the use of incentives (a $500 reduction in the cost of their health plan) we encourage our U.S. employees to take a health risk assessment which helps them in identifying key health risk factors that are related to their life style, such as tobacco use, high cholesterol , weight and high blood pressure. Those who have gone through the health screening can then elect to contact their health care provider or lifestyle counselors to help them address these risks. In the words of Dr. Fikry Isaac, who heads the program, the aim is to create a “culture of health.”

The results speak for themselves. On average, companies that provide such programs have seen a 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism, a 26% reduction in health costs, and a 30% reduction in the costs of workers compensation and disability management.

At Johnson & Johnson, we estimate that the program saves about $9 to $10 million each year by reducing the use of medical services and lower administrative expenses.

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