Creating Wellness Programs for Remote & On-Site Workers

Working remotely has benefits, but one of the challenges is keeping remote team members feeling connected to on-site employees. You can keep remote employees engaged with some of your wellness benefits.

Here are some ways to encourage participation and promote team building.

  • When planning presentations or wellness education, provide the programs over live streaming or video. Be sure to provide any tangible items to remote staff (i.e. ingredients for a healthy cooking demo).
  • Create an online library of wellness resources. You can include everything from stress management to details about your health benefits. Be sure to include a way for them to interact with HR if they have questions.
  • Team up on-site and remote employees for wellness challenges and events.
  • Provide support for mental health. As the pandemic wears on, isolation has increased, especially for remote workers. Make sure you have mental health resources and publicize them widely.

Find more ideas about this topic here.

Source: BenefitNews.com

Covid Fee Waivers Ending

As the nation opens back up, insurers are starting to end the policy of waiving fees related to Covid.

More and more, consumers are paying co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles for Covid treatments—this does not apply to tests or vaccinations which will remain free of charge.

Insurers that have stopped waiving fees in 2021 include Anthem, UnitedHealth, and Aetna. Read more about how this will affect consumers.

Source: Kaiser Health News

How Hospitals Make the Grade

Each year hospitals receive ratings from outside groups who rate hospitals on everything from survival rates to hand hygiene. These ratings are valuable to both consumers and those who purchase health insurance plans.

Below are the major groups that provide ratings and how they evaluate hospitals across the nation.

Leapfrog Group - This nonprofit was founded by large employers and grades hospitals on hand hygiene, falls, and 25 other measures of safety.

U.S. News & World Report - This publication lists the best hospitals in each state and overall in the nation. Factors they use to determine include survival rates, nursing quality, and more.

Medicare Hospital Compare - This federal rating system gives up to five stars for quality and is conducted by CMS. Death rates, hospital readmission rates, and other factors are used to rate hospitals.

IBM Watson Health - This group provides the list of the top 100 hospitals. Metrics such as survival rates, inpatient expenses, and profit margins are included in their report.

You can read more about these rating systems here.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Dogs Have a Nose for Covid

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine found that dogs are able to detect Covid in crowds with a 96% accuracy rate.

The scientists used eight Labrador Retrievers and one Belgian Malinois who had never done any type of medical detection in their study. The dogs were trained in Covid detection, exposed to both positive and negative urine samples, and were able to detect which samples came from Covid positive patients.

While these results are interesting, Covid diagnostics remains highly competitive, and widespread adoption of Covid sniffing dogs is far in the future. However, researchers are continuing to study this phenomenon and are moving from urine samples to sniffing t-shirts. Learn more about this study.

Source: Fierce Biotech

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