Businesses in Two Washington Counties To Conduct Online Employee Health Questionnaires
Some members of the Inland Northwest Business Coalition on Health in two Washington counties plan to ask employees to complete an online "point-and-click assessment" of their health as part of an effort to reduce "skyrocketing" health care costs, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reports. Businesses in Spokane and Kootenai counties plan to use the results of the optional questionnaires to develop wellness programs, improve productivity and "reduce absenteeism." The coalition will not release the results of individual questionnaires, but businesses will receive an "aggregate report" on their employees. The coalition, which has about 40 members that employ more than 20,000 workers, will use the YouFirst.com health assessment tool, owned by a subsidiary of drug maker Pharmacia, to conduct the questionnaires. Norm Charney, president of the coalition, said, "If businesses don't take care of their human capital, it costs them money." Katherine Capps, president of Health2 Resources, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., said that more employers nationwide have begun to use "Web-based tools to educate workers in an attempt to manage health benefits costs" (Johnson, Spokane Spokesman-Review, 9/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.