"Healthiest Companies in America" 2007 Winners Announced by Interactive Health Solutions

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Beyond Wellness Plans, Companies Address Employee Health Problems Early to Control Healthcare Costs

Outstanding progress with their prevention-based healthcare initiatives that encourage employee health and reduce medical costs has led 48 firms to be named the "Healthiest Companies in America" for 2007. The award, based on clinical evaluations of employee participants in key health metrics, was designed by Interactive Health Solutions (IHS), Arlington Heights, Ill., the leading provider of turnkey population health management programs to companies nationwide.

Population health management is a strategic initiative for companies that differs from more commonly known wellness programs, according to Jim Banks, IHS CEO. "What IHS provides is true preventative care, with the goal of involving a high percentage of employees at each company," he explains. "Employers and employees take an active role in their own healthcare through our program, allowing them to assert some control over costs."

Staying Healthy; Saving Money
The IHS program addresses healthcare concerns before they become concerns -- when employees are still at the "no risk" stage. "We employ a very basic premise at our client companies, which is "don't get sick, get help," versus, "get sick, then get help," states Joseph O'Brien, IHS president. "This means that employees are being assessed before they are symptomatic, rather than after they become ill and start incurring medical costs."

Employees who don't get sick save money in medical costs. IHS calculates that on average, the 2007 Healthiest Companies in America spend $2,850 less per employee on annual healthcare costs. "What we are providing is a market-based solution to the current cost crisis facing American companies," explains Banks.

At companies that deploy the IHS program, employees receive annual Health Evaluations, personalized health goals and an array of ongoing resources for any identified health condition. Most organizations brand the proactive health effort as a fun, internal program with incentives that reward progress and healthier lifestyles.

Winners of the 2007 Healthiest Companies in America Award range from manufacturers to service providers to educational facilities and municipalities. The three categories of winners this year include: Most Improved, Best in Class and Healthiest Companies Overall. Winning companies were selected based on best year-to-year aggregate Interactive Health Index (IHI) score improvement; best IHI score in its class; and best overall IHI score, respectively (see last page for full list of 2007 Award winners). Some companies won more than one Award.

A National Issue
IHS' research indicates that in a typical company, as many as 58 percent of employees have medical conditions that are unknown and/or not being treated, and require some type of medical intervention. "We work to stop the employee population of our client companies from trickling into the healthcare system due to a lack of preventative care," O'Brien notes.

A 2007 study recently completed by Zoe Consulting, Inc., Catawba, SC, showed that, for IHS participants, the actual medical cost growth rate was 54 percent less than the medical cost growth rates for non-participants.

Medical problems also carry a high price tag in lost productivity and poor service quality. IHS' data shows that companies with the most unhealthy employees have higher workmen's compensation and short-term disability costs.

IHS also sees rates of "presenteeism" (employees that are at work - but not performing) decrease by 41 percent at the 2007 Healthiest Companies. "The health of the employer's balance sheet is directly proportionate to the health of its employees," says Banks.

Notably, the cost of the entire 12-month IHS preventative care program per employee amounts to less than if an employee had visited his or her physician for one regular check-up. As such, the IHS program serves as a healthcare 'detective,' finding symptoms and indicators before they become a treatable disease. "Doctors are not normally paid to prevent disease, they are called on to treat them," says O'Brien. "What we are trying to accomplish is to focus on healthy people who choose to remain that way."

Taking the Pulse of Employee Health
To assess individual and company-wide health, IHS employs a proprietary metric called the 'Interactive Health Index' (IHI). The Index, developed in conjunction with physicians and other healthcare professionals, tests for indicators of heart disease, diabetes, smoking and other measures of health status that are at least in part controllable by the individual.

The program begins with employee Health Evaluations held on-site at each employer location, conducted by IHS' medical staff. Within 48 hours of the evaluation, IHS issues a report to each employee that summarizes the results of 36 different blood analyses. "The report states in clinically objective terms what the individual's risks are, and where there are opportunities for improvement," explains O'Brien.

Results of the annual IHS screening often lead to employees taking the next steps in treatment and/or lifestyle changes. A customized course of action is recommended following review of the IHI score by the IHS medical staff. IHS then provides medical resources, in-person health courses and online information about specific conditions. IHS also keeps in regular contact with each employee with reminders, status details and helpful recommendations.

At year-end, IHS calculates a cumulative IHI 'score' for the company as a whole. This gives employers a comprehensive report card about their employees' health for the first time - an important benefit of the IHS program for company managers.

The Healthiest Companies in America for 2007 were selected from more than 1,000 organizations that participate in IHS programs. Results from the various winners provide some telling statistics:

  • Most Improved companies improved their IHI score year to year by more than 50% on average.
  • The Healthiest Companies Overall have 70% of employees in low- or no-risk categories.

"IHS is proud to recognize the achievements - and especially, the commitment -- of these companies and their employees," says Banks. The impact of preventative care extends from the individual employee, who may enjoy a longer, more active life, to the employer, who gains healthier, more productive workers, and an effective means of impacting healthcare costs.

Winning companies were presented with crystal awards and certificates of achievement, both designating their Healthiest Companies in America status. Companies, their management and employees will be further recognized through local and national publicity about the Award.

For more information about the IHS preventative care program, contact
Joe O'Brien, Interactive Health Solutions, at (800) 840-6100.

Healthiest Companies in America - 2007

Healthiest Companies Overall Category
(Companies with the best overall Interactive Health Index (IHI) Score)

AP&S
Terre Haute, IN

Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLP
Chicago, IL

Central Bancompany
Springfield, MO

City of Batavia
Batavia, IL

City of Florence
Florence, KY

Fairview Ministries    
Downers Grove, IL

Focused Health Solutions
Deerfield, IL

HCH Administration
Peoria, IL

HSBC
Mettawa, IL

Indiana Blood Center
Indianapolis, IN

Indian Creek School District
Wintersville, OH    

Jenner & Block LLP
Chicago, IL

Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers
Fort Thomas, KY

Lions Clubs International
Oak Brook, IL

Maurice Sporting Goods
Northbrook, IL

MB Financial Bank
Chicago, IL

McDermott, Will & Emery
Chicago, IL

Mercy Health Partners
Cincinnati, OH

Mesirow Financial
Chicago, IL

Midmark
Versailles, OH

MBA/VEBA
(Missouri Bankers Association)
Jefferson City, MO

Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc.
Provo, UT

North Shore School District
Highland Park, IL

Novaspect
Elk Grove Village, IL

Oxford Bank & Trust
Oak Brook, IL

Shawano-Gresham Schools
Shawano, WI

The Horton Group
Orland Park, IL

Troy City School District
Troy, OH

WILD Flavors, Inc.
Erlanger, KY

Totes-Isotoner
Cincinnati, OH

Virchow Krause & Company
Madison, WI

Waubonsee Community College
Sugar Grove, IL

Wittenberg University
Springfield, OH

Best in Class Category
(Companies with the Best IHI Score in their Class)

Banking
Central Bancompany
Springfield, MO    

Consulting
Virchow Krause & Company    
Madison, WI

Education
North Shore School District
Highland Park, IL

Government
City of Batavia
Batavia, IL

Hospital
Mercy Health Partners
Cincinnati, OH

Insurance Broker (Tie)
Mesirow Financial
Chicago, IL

The Horton Group
Orland Park, IL

Legal Services
Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLP
Chicago, IL

Manufacturing (Tie)
Cummins-Allison Corporation
Mt. Prospect, IL

Gallatin Steel
Ghent, KY

Medical Services
AP&S
Terre Haute, IN

Public Service
Chicago Fire Fighters Local 2
Chicago, IL

Third Party Administrator
Meritain Health
Amherst, NY

Union
Iron Workers Local 395
Hammond, IN

Most Improved Category
(Companies that Made the Most Dramatic Improvements in their IHI Scores)

Brook Furniture Rental Inc.
Lake Forest, IL

Catchall Services, Inc.
Centralia, IL

Cherry Corporation
Pleasant Prairie, WI    

Cope Plastics
Godfrey, IL

Cummins-Allison Corporation
Mt. Prospect, IL

Fairrington Transportation Services
Bolingbrook, IL

Gallatin Steel
Ghent, KY

Goellner
Machesney Park, IL

Hutchison, Inc.
Adams City, CO

Knox College
Galesburg, IL

Lac Du Flambeau
Lac Du Flambeau, WI

Meritain Health
Amherst, NY

Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc.
Provo, UT

Steel Warehouse
South Bend, IN

Interactive Health Solutions, Inc. (IHS) provides turnkey population health management programs to companies nationwide. Program services are clinically based and fully HIPAA compliant. The year-round IHS program includes annual, on-site Health Evaluations; individualized health goals; in-person courses and online information about specific conditions; as well as full program administration, record keeping and reporting. IHS employs a national staff of medical professionals (physicians, phlebotomists, counselors, nurses and others) that administer the tests. IHS then reviews and recommends courses of action. The company maintains a comprehensive database and a virtual medical file for each participant. For more information, contact IHS at 800-840-6100, or http://www.healthiestcompanies.com.

For further details, please contact:

Joseph O'Brien, President, IHS, (847)754-2712 or e mail j.o'brien @ interactivehs.com

Robert Reed, Media Relations, (630) 579-1770 or e mail bob @ rurelevant.com

Guy Tichy, Media Relations, (224) 653-8875 or e mail guy @ rurelevant.com

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