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Despite the fact that health benefits are typically the second biggest expense (after wages) for most employers, far too many CEOs and CFOs have failed in their fiduciary responsibility to manage such a large cost item effectively. This passivity and reliance on so-called “experts” to advise their benefits strategy has cost them and their employees dearly. Simply shifting the burden to employees in the form of high deductible health plans just adds financial stress to employees that indirectly costs the company down the road. Fortunately, there are some employers who have taken the bull by the horns.
Rosen Hotels & Resorts has shown that much smaller organizations can be creative. If one extended their actions to all employers, we could conservatively remove $500 billion of healthcare waste from our economy. Imagine the stimulus this would provide to the private sector if these dollars were shifted to more productive sectors of the economy. However, one doesn’t have to extrapolate to see the positive impact it has had on one company, their employees and the entire community.
Since instituting this approach, Rosen has saved approximately $240 million on healthcare costs. Their per capita spending on healthcare has been 50% lower than the average employer.
The following are some elements of Rosen Hotels & Resorts benefits program:
- They constructed a new comprehensive 12,000 square foot medical center outfitting it with some used medical equipment for 10-15 cents on the dollar (but modern and functional). Employees are able to visit the Medical center “on the clock” to remove barriers to receiving care.
- They take great care of individuals and hold their hand throughout the treatment path. They have health coaches/nurses attached to them and have very low barriers to care. The blunt instrument approaches most employers enact to cut costs (high co-pays, deductibles) are eschewed. Instead they have zero copays for 90% of their pharmaceuticals and a $5 co-pay for visits. If necessary, they offer free transportation to gain access to healthcare. They state that it is all about removing barriers.
- They have food at company events approved by the nutritionists and the Director of Health Services and influence choices at home through cooking courses and other ways such as discounts for healthy food to make living healthy easier.
- Free wellness programs include on-site stretching & exercise (e.g, Zumba, kick-boxing, walking programs, spinning, boot camp), flu shots & vaccinations, screenings, family planning, educational materials, nutritional services, health fairs, physicals
- Health screenings are free and include colonoscopies, diabetes, skin cancer, on-site mammograms, cholesterol, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases, other radiology services, registered dietician visits etc. Rosen has a zero tolerance for tobacco users and does random drug testing which includes a test for tobacco use.
- They have a mandatory stretching program for the higher-risk employees like housekeepers, and it has reduced injuries by 25 percent.