Digital platforms could be the next revolution in diabetes management - Employee Benefit News

April 24, 2017

Employers who embrace a digital approach to combating diabetes in the workplace can not only provide employees engaging opportunities to help manage the condition, but also take advantage of cost-saving measures.

A recent pilot program within a segment of employees at Mount Sinai Health System integrated Livongo for Diabetes, an interactive blood glucose monitoring system, and showcased significantly enhanced connection and engagement between employees and health services. Additionally, it showed “timely, secure and convenient collection of data that can lead to improved clinical care,” according to a new report from the Northeast Business Group on Health.

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Digital Diabetes Solutions Can Play Valuable Role in Workplace Diabetes Interventions, Says Northeast Business Group on Health Report

April 20, 2017

Digital diabetes solutions are not a panacea but can offer employers valuable assistance in combatting diabetes among their populations, says a new report from Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH). The report profiles a pilot program begun within a segment of employees at Mount Sinai Health System that integrated Livongo for Diabetes, an interactive blood glucose monitoring system, into an advanced diabetes management program. NEBGH studied the Mount Sinai experience to provide other employers with insights as they consider the use of digital health solutions. Among the opportunities for employers highlighted in the report are significantly enhanced connection and engagement between employees and health services, and timely, secure and convenient collection of data that can lead to improved clinical care.

Supporting caregivers in the workplace is a good investment, says report - HR Daily Advisor

March 29, 2017
Employers need to be aware of the potential pay-offs for offering benefits and services that make caregiving an easier burden for employees to bear, says a new report from Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH). The report, “The Caregiving Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Employers,” says that maximizing productivity, reducing future employee healthcare costs, and attracting and retaining talent are among the reasons employers should consider specific policies and services designed to help employees who are providing care to loved ones.
Challenges to better supporting these employees include resistance to being labeled as a “caregiver,” the absence of best practices for employers, and the need for buy-in from executive management.

Why employers need to offer benefits to informal caregivers - Employee Benefit News

March 28, 2017

More than one in six U.S. employees has a secondary job their employer might not know about: informal caregiving for a relative.

As the older adult population in the U.S. is projected to nearly double in size by 2050 from 48 million to 88 million, employers need to expect that employees might be distracted with the financial and emotional burden of caring for a relative and are looking for support in the form of peer support groups, medical tools, flexible schedules and more.

In fact, 23% of employees are spending 41 hours or longer each week caring for a relative, according to a new report from the Northeast Business Group on Health. On average, employees spend four years in the role of caregiver and 24 hours a week providing caregiving assistance.

Employers test benefits for unpaid caregivers - Crain's Health Pulse

March 21, 2017

Companies are expressing a growing interest in helping their employees care for elderly or disabled loved ones, according to the Northeast Business Group on Health.
With lost productivity and turnover from caregiving costing U.S. employers $38 billion per year, members of the employer-led coalition are trying out new approaches to address caregivers’ needs, including expanding partnerships with providers and implementing more flexible leave policies, according to a report released this month by the business group and AARP.

CBS Corp., Goldman Sachs, consulting group EY, Northwell Health and other major employers based in the New York City area participated in a roundtable discussion about their caregiver benefits that helped inform the report.

One of the biggest challenges employers face is reaching out to a new generation of caregivers, said Dr. Jeremy Nobel, medical director of NEBGH and one of the authors of the report. Millennials now make up 25% of caregivers, according to a 2015 AARP report.

“In that population, caregiving is not something people talk about every day,” said Nobel.

On the plus side, he said, there are more and more digital tools that millennials may find appealing to help with such tasks as monitoring relatives at home and managing their meals, rides and other logistics.

“One of the challenges is a lot of the digital providers are not that familiar with contracting with employers,” said Nobel. “They are typically more in a direct-to-consumer business model.”

Employers could also leverage their purchasing power to make paid caregiving more affordable and easier to manage for employees, he added.

CBS, for example, subsidizes services for employees through Bright Horizons, which offers families “backup” care for children and elders when other arrangements have fallen through. CBS is also among the companies leveraging existing benefits to address the needs of caregivers by making services such as its Health Advocate program available to employees’ parents and in-laws.

“The ROI argument is that whatever it costs to put the mind of the caregiver at ease and put the loved one in high-quality care will also put the employer’s mind at ease and build employee loyalty,” said Nobel.

NEBGH is in the early stages of its investigation, said Nobel. The group plans to release more specific findings and recommendations by the third quarter of this year. —C.L.

Benefits for caregivers can curb healthcare costs, boost productivity - HR Dive

March 16, 2017

A new report from the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) says that offering benefits and services to caregivers has big payoffs for both workers and employers. According to the report, caregiver benefits have the potential to increase productivity by lessening burdens on care providers, decrease caregivers’ healthcare costs through subsidies and attract and retain talent who are, or might soon become, caregivers.