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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Program Rewards Members for Enhancing Their 'Healthstyle'
Date:10/31/2007

New Lifestyle Returns Outcomes is latest in an expanding line of wellness

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PITTSBURGH, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Much of today's chronic disease and disability is directly linked to lifestyle. In fact, half of the two million premature deaths that occur each year can be linked to modifiable behaviors. Unhealthy lifestyles -- smoking, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise -- are a primary reason for rising health care costs, absenteeism and lost productivity in the workplace.

As companies across the country look for ways to control ever-rising health care costs among their employees and help them get and stay healthier, many are turning to company-sponsored employee wellness programs. In fact, research shows that effective employee health management significantly decreases health risks and its associated costs. Solutions to the rising costs of health care are clear and simple -- keep employees who are low to moderate risk from progressing to high risk status, by providing effective, evidence- based interventions. Return on Investment (ROI) studies indicate a potential ROI of $2 to $5 in health care costs for every dollar spent.

Lifestyle Returns Outcomes, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield's latest consumer-driven program, is just one more way Highmark is helping members live longer, healthier lives. This program enhances Highmark's continued commitment to wellness and its consumerism strategy. Consumerism is the demand for information that helps members take more responsibility and make more educated health care decisions.

Highmark's original Lifestyle Returns program was created in 2005, and has now developed the Lifestyle Returns Outcomes Program. Members earn points toward employer-set rewards by participating in the program, reaching defined progress, and achieving target health goals.

"Employers and employees are taking a more active role in health care," said Donald Fischer, M.D., Highmark
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SOURCE Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
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