Why has Pitney Bowes devoted so much time and money to employee health at a time when many firms are cutting back on health benefits? Pitney Bowes had clear data that they had a significant amount of employees with hypertension, followed by diabetes, depression, asthma, osteoarthritis, and anxiety disorder. In terms of absolutely costs, coronary artery disease was the most expensive, followed by osteoarthritis, depression, diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. Pitney Bowes believed that up to two-thirds of its health –related costs were indirect. In addition to absenteesm, “presenteeism”, or reduced productivity at work, frequently accompanied illnesses affecting employees or their dependents. External estimates suggested that the costs of presenteeism linked to chronic disease were two to four times greater than the direct health care costs for those conditions. Michael Critelli, Executive Chairman of Pitney Bowes, had a strong interest in health care and he succeeded on improving health while controlling spending. He said: “When our employees become ill, it directly affects our bottom line. We seek a complete alignment of incentives between the company, the employee, and the providers and plans”
What are the major components of Pitney Bowes’ strategy for employee health?
Pitney Bowes’ employee health strategy focused on four main sections: investing heavily in employee health management staff; using data to shape plans, programs, and benefits; focusing on preventative care, wellness, and low cost treatment of chronic diseases; and offering choice and flexibility to employees. Although consultants often advised Pitney Bowes’ to cut out salary expenses on the well-compensated benefits staff, Pitney Bowes kept eight people working on health plan design and wellness programs. Pitney Bowes viewed this team as an investment, remarking that other firms with less overhead costs had still higher health care costs. The Firm collected data...
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