Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ACOEM to CBO: Focus on Workplace Wellness

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has joined the chorus of folks complaining about the Congressional Budget Office's dissing of wellness and prevention programs.

In a letter to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., ACOEM Executive Director Barry S. Eisenberg said workplace wellness has been a "persistent void in the current health care reform debate" and that the CBO "overlooks several key factors."

Eisenberg said an study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found an average return on investment of $3 for every $1 invested in employer health-promotion programs and $2 for every $1 invested in employer disease-management programs.

He also said the CBO "does not sufficiently consider how critical a healthy workforce will be to the long-term viability of our Social Security and Medicare systems" and that its focus on secondary prevention "is minimizing the cost-effective benefits of primary and tertiary prevention as a part of an overall prevention strategy."


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