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 Trust Matters, November 2014 

Happy Holidays!

Wellness services evaluation

New OSHA reporting requirements

Did you know?

From the boardroom

Calendar of events

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Happy Holidays!

The staff members at the League are thankful for the opportunity to work with each one of you and wish you the very best during the holiday season!

Wellness services evaluation

For more than 20 years the Municipal Insurance Trust has promoted and supported workplace wellness. Why? Because a well-run workplace wellness program can accomplish so much. These are just a few of the benefits:

  • Reduce absenteeism: It has been shown healthier employees spend fewer days away from work due to illness, saving employers thousands, even millions, of dollars on down time and temporary employment. Additionally, because good health typically carries over into better family choices, your employees could possibly miss less work caring for sick family members.
  • Control increasing health care costs: Today, employers have a vested interest in health-related issues and reducing unnecessary medical costs that consume budgets and employee paychecks.
  • Improve productivity: While it is not as easily measured as the increase in health care costs, improved employee morale and productivity plays a big role in the success of a company or business.
  • Improve presenteeism: Presenteeism is a new phenomenon occurring when employees are at work but do not feel as productive as usual due to stress, depression, injury or illness.
  • Reduce injuries: Healthy employees with less risk factors are at a lower risk for injury than those unhealthy employees with more risk factors. Classes are a popular means of trying to prevent injury, including exercise classes, smoking cessation courses, back care programs and stress management lectures. More examples of workplace wellness programs/courses include health education classes, subsidized use of fitness facilities, internal policies that promote healthy behavior and any other activity, policy or environmental change that affect the health of an employee.
  • Improve employee morale and retention: Employee turnover is expensive and an employee wellness program is an added benefit to encourage employee retention. Employer-sponsored workplace wellness programs send a clear message to employees that management values their wellbeing.

We are currently assessing our wellness grant program and wellness offerings to our membership. Our goals are simple. We want to provide opportunities for those tasked with worksite wellness responsibilities to share ideas and learn from one another through regional gatherings; enhance utilization of grant funds available through the MIT to fund programs that will work for the member; deliver wellness professionals to your worksite that can complete bio metric screenings and provide employee education; and use predictive modeling analytics to target wellness efforts.

Your Board of Trustees will be discussing these ideas and more during their workshop in December. If you have ideas that will help with promotion of worksite wellness we’d love to hear from you.

New OSHA reporting requirements

Significant revisions were recently made by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerning employee injury reporting and record keeping requirements. Starting January 1, 2015, employers are required to notify the NC Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health (NCDOL OSH) Division when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify the NCDOL OSH Division of work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours.  Employers can report these events by telephone to the NCDOL complaint desk by calling 1-800- NCLABOR or (919) 779-8560 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and State Capitol Police at 919-733-3333 on weekends, holidays, or after business hours.

NC DOL is offering several webinar training opportunities during December to cover recordkeeping requirements. Use the following web address to view available webinar training opportunities: https://www.dol.communications.its.state.nc.us/osh/etta/class_regist/calendar.cfm

Additional information on the new OSHA reporting requirements, including definitions on “amputation” and “in-patient hospitalization” can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/faqs.html

Contact your League risk management field consultant or Bryan Leaird at 919-715-2905 if you have any questions.

Did you know?

According to the CDC, approximately half of all chronic diseases are linked to preventable problems including smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity? One of the biggest and most costly aspects of health care is the treatment of chronic diseases. Since 75 percent of total health care spending in the United States in 2007 went towards the treatment of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, it will be hard to make insurance affordable without changing how chronic disease is treated. Numerous studies have shown that when patients with chronic diseases focus on their health and get involved in their own care, their health improves and health expenses decrease. That is why the Health Benefits Trust is implementing new wellness requirements for the 2014 plan year.

In November we mailed a notification letter to each participant who is not yet compliant with the wellness requirements. The requirements must be met by December 31, 2014. Some may have appointments scheduled for after December 31st; please fax proof of the scheduled appointment to Julie Hall at 919-301-1111. As a reminder, below are the requirements:

  • Have an annual physical examination performed by either your primary care physician or by participating in the MIT’s Wellness Initiative or any other on-site wellness screening program supported by your employer.
  • Receive the following age appropriate screenings: 
      • Mammogram every year for females over 40
      • Colonoscopy every 10 years for both males and females over 50
      • Pap Smear every 3 years for females over 18
  • Participate in the Personal Care Management (PCM) health coaching program only if you are contacted by a MedCost PCM nurse.

The following testimonial from MIT Health Plan Member Allen Lynch demonstrates the outstanding results that can come from participation the the Personal Care Management Program!

“If anyone has been in the shape I was in, or maybe even worse, they need to have somebody like a nurse health coach from the Personal Care Management program. She’s the one that keeps me going, that keeps me trying. I always set goals, and I have either met them or come very close to meeting them while I’ve been in the program. I had goals to eat better and exercise more to lose weight, and I’ve already lost a little over 30 pounds. I always look forward to the next month to see what goals are going to happen; it gives me something to work toward!

I’ve always heard of coaches for different things, but to me, my nurse health coach is more like a psychiatrist. She got in my head and somehow convinced me do the things I know I’m supposed to do. I guess part of it is that I don’t want to let her down. I’m hoping that if I continue to work with my nurse, it will keep me out of the doctor’s office so much.

The PCM program has helped me more than physical therapy or anything else I’ve done before. I want the nurse to keep calling because I know when I hear from her, something good is going to come out of it…and it always does!"

From the boardroom

Your Board of Trustees will be meeting the first week of December and deciding on several important issues including:

  • Receipt of audits for the three insurance trusts;
  • Workers’ compensation and Property/Liability rates, incentive credits and other program changes;
  • Report on investment performance; and
  • Report on a variety of initiatives to improve operations and service to you, our membership.

Some of the new initiatives include an underwriting process for the Health Benefits Trust, including the potential for predictive analytics to assist in decision making; wellness programming enhancements to assist members in developing and managing a worksite wellness program; NC RISK, a mobile application to assist field services; launch of an improved website which will allow members to report claims, add or delete vehicles, buildings or equipment and access an array of risk management tools and resources online. We will also discuss a variety of proposed initiatives, which are all intended to increase our ability to serve you better.