When Companies Focus on Preventive Care, their Outcome is Worth the Investment

Emily Lam
Senior Director, Health Care & Federal Issues for Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, representing more than 375 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers, has long focused its priorities on influencing policies and programs that improve health outcomes and reduce overall health care costs for employers and employees in Silicon Valley.

With over two out of three Americans and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese, more individuals than ever are at much greater risk for diabetes, heart and lung disease, stroke, cancers, and other life-threatening and costly chronic illnesses.  Employees with chronic conditions or are overweight miss 465 million extra days of work compared to healthy workers – costing as much as $225 million in lost productivity every year. These costs are unsustainable.

Understanding that health happens in the workplace, the Leadership Group has prioritized helping employers realize the value of programs to keep people healthy and recognize the value of comprehensive wellness programs to reduce long-term costs and improve the health and productivity of their workforce. As a part of our efforts to educate employers on the benefits of prevention and health in the workplace, the Leadership Group partnered with The California Endowment to host an employer wellness conference in June of 2012 that launched the “Let’s Move Silicon Valley Businesses” program to help companies enhance their efforts to improve health, save money and end childhood obesity.

Following the success of last year’s conference, the Leadership Group will again host Health Happens in the Workplace Conference today, April 30, 2013 at the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus. This year’s Health Happens in the Workplace Conference will take further steps towards educating businesses on preventive health solutions that address growing community-wide health needs including workplace wellness tips and strategies from leaders at Microsoft, Brocade, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente and many more.

This Conference presents an opportunity for Silicon Valley’s leading business executives, human resources and benefit managers to learn best practices from industry leaders including how to measure a company’s return on investment, find out why and how companies should promote active transportation alternatives such as biking and walking to improve employee health and productivity and discover how the Affordable Care Act is promoting wellness and what businesses and employees can do to take advantage of these new opportunities.

Good health is an on-going process and promoting education, awareness, and the programs that allow employees to thrive are key elements of the health care law. As California remains at the forefront of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we need to provide the business community with the tools to be aware and educated about the law so they can achieve their business goals while ensuring a healthy and productive workforce.

For more information, please visit http://svlg.org/policy-areas/health-policy.

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