Employers Must Promote Healthy Lifestyles For Workers To Lower Costs

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Healthy Lifestyles For Workers

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Employers must promote good public policy, healthy lifestyles amongworkers and must understand determinants of health to reduce healthcare costs, Louisiana health officials said on Tuesday, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports. State Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Fred Cerise and Gery Barry, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, spoke at the Louisiana Business Group on Healthboard of directors meeting and corporate leadership roundtable. Thegroup represents a coalition of employers, insurers and health careproviders that are examining ways to control health care costs in thestate.

Barry said employers should pay attention to medicalhome models of health care, where a neighborhood clinic or physicianmanages a person's care using electronic health records, and look forways to use such systems to reduce health costs. Cerise and Barry saidemployers also should adopt employee-wellness initiatives to preventhealth problems among workers.

Cerise and Barry also discussedthe state's failed attempt several years ago to raise the statecigarette tax to fund health care and reduce smoking rates. "From apublic policy perspective, when it comes to health and health care, wehave difficulty even making the slam dunks," Cerise said (Griggs, BatonRouge Advocate, 8/22).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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