Kaiser Permanente, Unions Launch New Employee Wellness Program
Kaiser Permanente and the 29 unions that represent its employees in California and eight other regions have teamed up to offer incentive payments to groups of workers who improve their health, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Details of Program
Under the voluntary program, Kaiser's 133,000 workers could earn up to $500 each if participants in their region collectively:
- Lose weight;
- Lower blood pressure;
- Lower cholesterol; and
- Stop smoking.
All employees -- even those who choose not to participate -- will be eligible for payouts if:
- 75% of workers in their region complete an online health survey, which would earn $150 incentive payments for all employees in that region;
- 85% of workers in their region update their baseline screenings for weight, smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure, which would earn $150 payments for all workers in that region; and
- There is an average 1.7% improvement and no declines across such measures by December 2014, which would earn $200 for all employees in that region.
The program does not apply to doctors, dentists and executives, but it does include both union and non-union employees.
Kaiser will issue all payouts in 2015. The total cost of the program could reach $66.5 million, according to the Bee.
Comments From Kaiser
Kathy Gerwig -- vice president of employee safety, health and wellness at Kaiser -- said the program is "very inclusive of everybody" and will "drive the culture toward healthier work environments and camaraderie around getting healthier."
She said the program also is expected to lower health care costs and produce other benefits, including:
- Fewer worker absences;
- Improved customer service; and
- A greater ability for employees to focus on work, known as "present-teeism."
In addition, Kaiser has implemented other measures to increase employee wellness, such as:
- Building walking paths at some campuses; and
- Improving lighting and appearance of stairwells to promote stair climbing.