Integrated Benefits Institute Presents Pacific Gas and Electric Company with 2014 IBI Health and Business Performance Award
The Integrated Benefits Institute today awarded the 2014 IBI Health and Business Performance Award to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) is the leading workforce health and productivity research and measurement organization.
The Award, sponsored by AbbVie, honors an employer that has demonstrated outstanding work in the field of health, productivity and business performance. AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company. The Award was presented to Maria Henderson, Senior Director, Workforce Health, PG&E, by IBI President Dr. Thomas Parry during the 2014 IBI Annual Forum in San Francisco, March 3-5, 2014. The Forum was attended by 400 leaders from the business and benefit program supplier communities.
“The goal of our annual conference—now in its 19th year—is to provide employers research and case studies that establish best practices to improve workforce health, productivity and absence management. We congratulate Pacific Gas and Electric Company on its innovative programs and new health account plan design that have enhanced employee health, productivity and resiliency,” said Parry.
Health: PG&E took a collaborative approach with union leadership to design a single health plan for all active employees that provides significant financial incentives for preventive care and wellness. The participation rates in the annual biometric health screenings are approaching 90% with more than 4,500 individuals opting in to health coaching or tobacco cessation. The early detection of serious health risks coupled with a free primary care/preventive services package in the plan made some promising utilization impacts; decreasing inpatient days 11%, ER visits 8% and specialty office visits 5%. The five years prior to the new plan design, PG&E’s medical cost per employee trends averaged a 9% increase year-over year. In 2013, cost per employee dropped 6%, with no increased premium costs to the employees and minimal cost shifting at the point of service.
Productivity: PG&E has experienced a steady decline in health-related lost workdays—reported to senior leadership as a percentage of Workforce Unavailable due to Health. Over the past four years, the percentage dropped nearly 25% from 10.9% to 8.2%—resulting in an increase of 154,440 productive days, equal to 594 FTEs and $56.8M—between 2010 and 2013.
Resiliency: PG&E promoted a hybrid EAP approach, which offered on-site counselors, as well as a community network and telephonic access. The on-site counselors alone achieved a utilization rate of 8.5%; about twice the national average. The company also supports a Peer Volunteer Program for substance abuse recovery in collaboration with union leadership.
“We are pleased to be named the recipient of the 2014 IBI Health and Business Performance Award, and to share the results of our health and wellness programs to the broader community,” said Henderson. “These programs coupled with our strong union partnership have helped us improve the health and resiliency of our workforce. A healthier workforce is more productive and lowers health care costs for our employees, the company and, most importantly, our customers.”
In 2011, PG&E also launched an Industrial Athlete Program focused on the highest risk and most physically demanding jobs—lineman; about 1800 employees. The program encompasses job-specific interventions that occur throughout an employee’s time at PG&E, from “hire to retire.” The goal of the program is to improve the mental and physical resilience of workers and reduce injuries. The program currently includes a post-offer physical assessment, job-specific wellness education and musculoskeletal injury prevention. In addition, in a pilot program begun last June in Fresno athletic trainers, under a vendor contract with PG&E, are working with approximately 100 linemen. The trainers assess early signs of discomfort and promote stretching and other self-care techniques. They also observe body mechanics in the field and promote improved industrial ergonomics. Positive feedback from both employees and supervisors has led to plans to expand the pilot into two more sites.
About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 22,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.
About the Integrated Benefits Institute
The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), an independent nonprofit membership organization, is the leading provider of health and productivity research, measurement and benchmarking. Founded in 1995, IBI provides members with data, research and tools to make sound decisions in how they invest in the health of their workforces. Its 920+ members include companies implementing health-related programs to benefit their employees and business, and providers of health and productivity services. Additional information about IBI may be found at www.ibiweb.org.
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