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View More Press Releases by Cigna

Press release:

Health and Wellness at Work: CIGNA Expanding Onsite Health Programs

Issued by: Cigna

Date: Feb. 10, 2010

Kronos Optimal Health Becomes Part of the CIGNA Team

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., February 9, 2010 -- Bringing health and wellness programs directly to the workplace is the work of CIGNA Onsite Health, which has built an extensive suite of onsite capabilities as an integral part of the health management programs CIGNA (NYSE:CI) provides to employers and their workers. CIGNA today said it is expanding these onsite capabilities through the acquisition of Kronos Optimal Health Company, a Phoenix-based health and wellness company that specializes in lifestyle management programs, face-to-face coaching, biometric screenings and health education programs.

“Creating the right avenue for individuals to get involved in improving health means offering different ways they can do so, based on their own personal preference, whether that’s over the phone, online, or in person,” said Kurt Weimer, president, CIGNA Onsite Health. “With the addition of Kronos to the CIGNA team, we can now offer our onsite services on a larger scale. We can also integrate these services with our other health management programs most effectively to help drive engagement and improve the health and well-being of the people we serve.”

CIGNA Onsite Health offers full-service onsite clinics, pharmacy services, one-on-one health coaching, biometric screenings and flu shots and onsite/online health improvement programs delivered in a classroom setting, as well as employee assistance programs (EAPs). It is led by a management team with 40 years experience in operating multi-specialty group practices, urgent care centers, pharmacies, laboratory services and convenience care clinics.

Founded in 2002, Kronos is a leader in worksite wellness and has served as a vendor for CIGNA for several years. With a contracted network of approximately 13,000 health coaches, health educators and screeners across the United States, Kronos will support CIGNA's onsite programs as well as continuing to provide health management services to its existing clients. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Weimer said that employers are growing increasingly proactive about prevention, recognizing that many of the leading causes of illness, disability and premature death in the United States are largely preventable. He also said that employers also recognize that people are more likely to be on the job and performing well if they’re healthy in mind and spirit, and many companies continue to invest in worksite health and wellness programs with an eye toward making it more convenient and cost effective for employees to take care of basic health care needs during the work day.

“The health and productivity of our employees is important to us, and the best way to help our people focus on staying well is to offer health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and weight,” said Jim Krbec, Human Resource Director of The Berge Group, which operates auto dealerships in Phoenix and Tucson. “We provide annual screenings onsite as part of our benefits program to make it easy and convenient for people to participate. These screenings increase the chance of catching health problems before they become serious, and they’ve helped us reduce our medical costs in each of the last two years.”

According to a recent report by Watson Wyatt (now part of Towers Watson) and the National Business Group on Health, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of employers have already enhanced their onsite offerings with programs geared toward stress management, EAPs or health coaches, or expect to do so in the next 12 months. The report also concludes that companies with effective health and productivity programs are also more likely to have lower health care costs, lower levels of absenteeism and presenteeism, fewer lost days due to disabilities and lower levels of turnover relative to their industry peers.1

Weimer said that while employers’ investments in worksite wellness programs have continued even despite the economic downturn, key challenges for employers include:

  • ensuring all of the different programs they offer are coordinated and information is integrated;
  • encouraging employees to actively participate in the programs so that health improvement and productivity savings can be realized; and,
  • measuring the collective return on investment for all of their health and productivity programs.

“Working with one health service company to give employees a range of services helps provide the consistency, referral coordination and holistic clinical approach that many employers are seeking, especially if they have employees in multiple locations,” Weimer said. “It also streamlines communications with employees to raise their awareness of the programs available to them, and better enables the measurement and reporting of program outcomes.”

CIGNA Onsite Health delivers multiple and integrated programs including:

  • Onsite Health Centers – CIGNA works with employer clients to design, staff and manage onsite health centers with services ranging from low-acuity urgent care to primary care, with or without pharmacy or lab services.
  • Pharmacy – service options range from pre-packaged common medications to concierge service where CIGNA arranges delivery of a person’s medicines to the workplace, to providing an onsite retail pharmacy with both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Biometric Screenings – a variety of combinations of health screenings are available to choose from, such as blood pressure, body mass index or cholesterol levels and post-screening health coaching services.
  • Health Coaching – an onsite health advocate engages one-on-one with employees during the workday at the workplace to help employees establish and attain their health goals. Group programs are also available.
  • Employee Assistance Programs – these programs address personal issues and stressors that may be distracting employees and keeping them from being as productive as possible. Counselors can be available onsite to deliver individualized assistance or group seminars that address such topics as stress management, work/life balance, parenting issues, child- and elder-care concerns and financial or legal concerns.
  • Onsite/Online Health Improvement Programs – CIGNA has recently launched an intensive, 90-day program to help people with metabolic syndrome make positive lifestyle changes. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a cluster of risk factors that, when taken together, put people at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. The program is delivered at the worksite in a classroom setting and is also available online. A trained health facilitator helps participants understand the relationship between lifestyle and chronic disease and helps them learn to make healthy choices.

About CIGNA

CIGNA (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation's operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world. To learn more about CIGNA, visit www.cigna.com.

1 2009/2010 North American Staying@Work Report: The Health and Productivity Advantage, November 30, 2009. Watson Wyatt/National Business Group on Health

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