Aetna Offers New Suite Of Health And Wellness Programs For The Worksite
Wellness services delivered in person shown to have better enrollment and engagement rates
HARTFORD, Conn.— Aetna announced today that it is now offering worksite health and wellness services to employers. The Aetna Health Connections Direct2YouSM product suite offers a range of services within the workplace including biometric screenings that measure cholesterol, blood pressure, weight and height, wellness services such as counseling about preventive care, healthy eating and regular exercise, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), prescription drug consultations with a licensed pharmacist, disease management, and acute care services. The information gathered at the worksite is connected to other health programs purchased by the employer - giving them a complete health and wellness picture of their employee population, while assuring confidentiality of personal health information.
“At a time when employers are searching for ways to improve their employees’ overall health and control health care costs, worksite wellness services are receiving increased attention,” said Dan Fishbein, M.D., head of New Product Businesses at Aetna. “Not only can employers enhance their existing employee benefits package by offering onsite health and wellness services, but Aetna’s offering is an attractive option in these difficult economic times because the services can be delivered whether or not an employer has an onsite health center. The offering saves employers time and money, while delivering a solution that is proven to better engage employees in improving their health.”
The Aetna Health Connections Direct2You offering can be implemented whether or not the employer has an existing onsite medical clinic. Employers who purchase the program choose from a menu of programs and services best suited for their employees. The offerings include:
Health and Wellness Services: Aetna will directly provide disease management coaching, wellness counseling and pharmacy consultations staffed by Aetna nurses, clinicians and pharmacists. For employers who choose to offer pharmacy consultations, an onsite Aetna pharmacist will provide individual face-to-face counseling sessions with employees. The pharmacist will explain how and when to take the medicine, any common side effects, and the importance of adhering to the doctor’s directions, especially for medications associated with chronic conditions. The onsite pharmacist will also assist with mail-order enrollment and generic drug opportunities, as appropriate.
Biometric Screening: Through business partners such as Quest Labs or Summit Health, Aetna will provide biometric health screenings to help identify potential health issues such as high cholesterol, diabetes or other health conditions.
Counseling: Aetna’s Employee Assistance Program, which helps people balance the demands of work, life and personal issues, will be delivered at the worksite by network providers from Aetna’s EAP network of professionals. The counseling resources can provide help for employees struggling with elder or child care issues, marital problems, financial stress and a variety of educational resources to help employees at any life stage.
Acute Care Services: Beginning later this year, Aetna will partner with vendors to offer acute care services, staffed by a physician or nurse practitioner, to provide treatment for infections, ear aches, sore throats, flu and other illnesses.
Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health released the results of a national survey of 573 U.S. companies that employ at least 1,000 workers. The study showed that 29 percent of companies planned to offer an onsite health center in 2008 and those numbers are expected to grow in 2009 and beyond. Furthermore, research shows that onsite programs using face-to-face coaching and motivational interviewing techniques result in higher engagement levels than telephonic only delivery of programs. In fact, the journal Disease Management reported that enrollment rates in programs delivered face-to-face are significantly higher than programs delivered via telephone - 79 percent to just 25 percent.
Aetna recently opened an onsite health clinic for the 3,000 employees in its Hartford, Conn. headquarters building. The “Wellness Works” center offers employees the convenience of a full service pharmacy, physician and nursing staff to provide confidential care of common illnesses, lab services, wellness screenings and coaching, disease management coaching, financial counseling and other services.
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