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Health and Wellness Programs in a Tight Economy: Why They Are Critical and How to Make Them Effective
Date:2/24/2009

ST. LOUIS, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The deepening economic crisis is placing the United States' ailing -- or some would say failing -- health care system at further risk. With many Americans losing jobs, the number of uninsured and underinsured is rising. Also, faced with tighter budgets and escalating health care costs, even those with insurance are not compliant in taking critical medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins or anti- hypertensives. The results could be catastrophic situations, such as strokes or heart attacks, which will increase a rapidly escalating health care cost base.

"Fixing the ailing health care system will be a long and complex process," said Mindy McGrath, vice president of strategy for Maritz' health care sector. "However, in tough economic times, it's important to focus on tactics that have a positive impact on our nation's health, such as wellness programs, medication adherence and coordinated care to reduce redundancies."

As a strategic partner in helping companies optimize their wellness programs, Maritz has released a whitepaper for health insurance companies to increase the effectiveness of wellness strategies by improving participation and engagement among their members. From improving health risk assessment participation to engaging members in comprehensive, next-generation health and productivity incentive programs, Maritz' approach goes beyond gift cards or rewards points. The strategy leverages Maritz' 75 years of experience engaging and motivating people to jump-start and sustain long-term behavior commitment that leads to healthier members, which in turn enables effective management of health care costs.

Maritz' whitepaper, "Health and Wellness Incentives: Motivating and Sustaining Wellness Program Participation to Improve Health Outcomes," outlines how health insurers can use the right combination of incentives, rewards, communications, interacti
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SOURCE Maritz
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