Companies, employees benefit by linking wellness, productivity | Employees gain access to Weight Watchers through health plan initiative | Strength training tied to reduced risk of diabetes in Japanese workers

March 20, 2015
AHIP Wellness SmartBrief

Wellness Programs & Trends
Companies, employees benefit by linking wellness, productivity
When companies realize the link between job performance pressures and employee health, it is easier to tie wellness programs to improved productivity, said Keas vice president Missy Jaeger. Giving employees tools for better health, encouraging some wellness competition and offering positive reinforcement for healthy choices can help improve the corporate culture, she said. (3/19)
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Employees gain access to Weight Watchers through health plan initiative
More than 500 members have enrolled in a Humana initiative announced last month to pay for a six-month Weight Watchers membership and then provide a 20% discount for the program after that. Humana expects 10,000 employees of companies with Humana health plans will enroll in the first year. Human resources chief Tara Lencione Geer at Kansas-based manufacturer Phenix said it was a great benefit that has "no downside to an employer." The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (tiered subscription model) (3/19)
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How Much Do You Really Need to Make? The Answer May Shock You
Rather than focus on what you can afford to pull out of the business to cover your living expenses, you need to focus on how much you need to earn at your business in order to afford the lifestyle you want to have. This is where the Personal Earnings Goal, or PEG, comes into play. Learn how to calculate your PEG and find out how much you really need to make.

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Strength training tied to reduced risk of diabetes in Japanese workers
Workers who did strength training were less likely to develop diabetes than those who did not, according to a Japanese study on the website of the Journal of Diabetes Investigation. The age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio for diabetes was 0.58 for the strength-training group in comparison with the non-strength-training group. News (3/19)
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Whitepaper: SDN: How do you get there from here?
Are the growing data needs of mobile, cloud, big data and social threatening today's enterprise networks? Scalable processes, a phased integration approach and the appetite to optimize over time are key components of a modern network. It's how agile organizations prepare for the data needs of tomorrow.
Explore the whitepaper to start down the path toward SDN.

Health News & Research
CDC: Gains in fight against tuberculosis are coming more slowly
Tuberculosis incidence in the U.S. was a little over 9,400 cases in 2014, an estimated three cases per 100,000 people, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The numbers show a nearly 2% decrease compared with the rate of tuberculosis in 2013, the lowest recorded decrease in over 10 years. CDC researchers recommend improving awareness, especially among high-risk groups, and boosting the testing and treatment of the disease to prevent the rate of decline from further slowing. HealthDay News (3/19)
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Overweight boys may have higher risk of knee pain as adults
Excessive weight during childhood was linked to knee pain, stiffness and dysfunction among adult men, according to an Australian study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. However, researchers found that overall childhood overweight measures were not significantly associated with knee problems. MedPage Today (free registration) (3/19)
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Study warns antipsychotics are dangerous for dementia patients
Researchers found that antipsychotic drugs may raise dementia patients' risk of premature death more than previously thought, and risk is correlated to dose with newer antidepressants. The study was reported in JAMA Psychiatry. "The harms associated with using these drugs in dementia patients are clear. ... These results should raise the threshold for prescribing further," study author Dr. Donovan Maust said. HealthDay News (3/18)
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Omega-3 fatty acids show benefits for children with ADHD
A small study in Neuropsychopharmacology says boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder improved their attentiveness if they regularly ate food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. However, study author Dienke Bos cautioned that the benefit was modest and that omega-3s did not improve impulse control or aggression. HealthDay News (3/19)
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Business Tips and Advice
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Schools & Community
Fast-food restriction fails to reduce obesity rates in Los Angeles
New fast-food restaurants were banned in South Los Angeles in 2008 to try to curb obesity rates, but RAND Corp. researchers found a substantial increase in the number of overweight or obese people in areas covered by the ban from 2007 to 2012. Consumption of fast food rose in South Los Angeles, as well as across the country, during that time, researchers reported. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/19)
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Mayo Clinic Health Systems grant brings fitness equipment to Wis. park
A $25,000 grant from Mayo Clinic Health Systems will go toward the purchase of outdoor fitness equipment at a Menomonie, Wis., park. The equipment includes a rowing machine, an elliptical cross trainer and a pull-up and dip station. The Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.) (tiered subscription model) (3/17)
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Wellness Industry Developments
Achieving your HCP designation with AHIP
Gain a better understanding of the rules and requirements of the Affordable Care Act and work towards your HCP designation with AHIP’s ACA Compliance Series of Courses. Learn more about improving your job performance.
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Webinar: Executive Round Table - CORE Operating Rules
Operating Rules simplify healthcare transactions and create frictionless exchange. Join us on Wednesday, March 25 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT, to hear industry leaders from CORE, CMS and prominent health plans discuss their perspectives on Operating Rules. This webinar will allow you to participate in the very pulse of the Operating Rules conversation and understand the positions of some of the biggest names in health care. Register here.
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Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett,
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