KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Wellness Program Helps Company Control Health Care Costs

CNN reports on Quest Diagnostics' wellness program: "Healthy Quest is designed to focus on health issues that 'drive a lot of costs, and drive a lot of lost productivity,' like obesity, smoking and stress, [Steve Burton, vice president of health and wellness services at Quest Diagnostics] said." Since its inception, "the company has benefited from lower health care costs, fewer sick days and more satisfied employees, he said. ... The success of programs like Healthy Quest has also caught the attention of lawmakers working to pass a health care reform bill." The measure approved by the Senate HELP Committee in July "includes provisions for a marketing campaign to 'make employers ... aware of the benefits of employer-based wellness programs ... [and] establish a culture of health by emphasizing health promotion and disease prevention.' The bill also provides 'technical assistance, consultation, [and] tools' to help employers evaluate the effectiveness of their programs" (Harding, 9/1).

Related KHN story: Will Emphasis On Prevention Bring Costs Down?

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