Good Health is Good Business

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Most people know good health habits can save your life and help you stay out of the hospital, but few people consider how it can save dollars. Surgeries, hospital stays, and prescription drugs are expensive, and small businesses are feeling the financial pressure of rising health care costs as a result.

Thats what led Colorado Springs two largest health care providers and Kaiser Permanente to team up with the Colorado Springs Chamber to connect those dots.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Memorial Health System and Kaiser Permanente are each contributing $3,579 to the Chamber to recognize its efforts to promote wellness among its employees. The donation to the Chamber was based on weight loss and lifestyle changes.

It started when Dave Csintyan, CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber, expressed his deep concern for the rising cost of health care for his employees. Margaret Sabin, CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Dr. Larry McEvoy, CEO of Memorial Health System and Mark Iorio, Executive Director of Kaiser Permanente in Southern Colorado agreed to an incentive-based wellness program for the Chamber staff.

In June, all 20 employees of the Chamber were screened using standard biometric reporting to include; blood glucose, hypertension, cholesterol, body mass index, and smoking.
Participants were offered on-site personalized health coaching. Clients were seen an average of one time per month, with those with the greatest need being seen two or more times per month.
Participants were encouraged to set short and long term goals, set action plans, and monitor progress. The clients readiness for change was accessed and strategies were developed to maximize the potential to achieve desired outcomes.
In September, all 20 employees were screened again.

Employees lost a total of 54 pounds, and one participant quit smoking. The group logged 30,392 minutes of exercise, with several people beginning a fitness program for the first time.

Good health and good business are inextricably linked", says Csintyan. If you look hard enough you will find a healthy workforce informing your balance sheet with increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, and a tighter focus on the business model. What started as a reactive comment to increasing health care premiums is quickly evolving into a cultural change where we control our destiny on both fronts...business and health. Thank you Penrose-St. Francis, Memorial and Kaiser Permanente for taking this journey with us!"


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About Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility offering a full complement of emergency, medical and surgical services. Penrose-St. Francis was named was of Americas 50 Best Hospitals" for 2008, 2009 and 2010 by HealthGrades, the only recipient in Colorado. Penrose-St. Francis is part of Centura Health, Colorados largest hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year, across 13 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, Flight For Life and home care and hospice services. Penrose-St. Francis and Centura's strength lies in the ability to offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state. For more information about Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, visit www.penrosestfrancis.org.

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the states largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and southern Colorado area residents for 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 522,000 members through 20 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named Highest in Member Satisfaction" among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the third straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado , No. 9 in the nation and one of the top 5 Medicare plans in the U.S. for the second year in a row. In 2009, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $82 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.