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URAC Releases Standards and Measures for Wellness Programs for Public Comment
Date:6/24/2008

Public comments for new accreditation programs due Aug. 7

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- URAC has convened an expert advisory group for creation of accreditation standards and measures for wellness programs in response to employers' requests for quality standards and measures for both comprehensive and focused wellness programs. The more than 50 advisory committee members include employers, health plans, public benefits organizations, health care professional associations, health care providers and wellness promotion companies. The group represents a variety of perspectives from the health care industry and has been collaborating to draft the standards, which were released for public comment today. The deadline for public comment is Aug. 7, 2008.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/URACLOGO )

URAC is the Washington, D.C.-based independent accreditor that offers more than 20 accreditation and certification programs along the continuum of care, including health management accreditation programs for utilization management, disease management and case management. The new health management accreditation programs for Comprehensive Wellness and Focused Wellness promotion programs are a response to the need for national standards to measure the effectiveness of these programs that focus on health promotion, chronic disease prevention and health risk reduction.

Employee health and wellness programs have become a critical component of employer health benefit management because of their ability to reduce health risks and their related health care costs and boost productivity. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, about 86 percent of U.S. employers currently offer wellness programs to their employees.(1)

"It is clear that uptake of these programs is growing among employers as an avenue for both employee health im
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