Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to Offer Health Risk Assessments for Employers and Individuals

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to Offer Health Risk Assessments for Employers and Individuals











Chapel Hill, NC (Vocus) March 13, 2007

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina today announced an extensive new program aimed at helping employers and individuals understand and act on their health risks.

Your Health Profile, BCBSNC’s confidential health risk assessment (HRA), helps employers quantify the health risks that exist in their employee population. Using an aggregate summary report that comes from the HRA, employers can design and promote programs that target the specific needs of their workers — such as managing diabetes or increasing physical activity.

“Employers tell us they want more information to help them take specific, measurable actions toward containing rising medical costs,” said Bob Greczyn, BCBSNC president and CEO. “Your Health Profile can be one of the first and most important steps to creating a healthy workforce. A healthy workforce not only affects direct health costs such as medical claims, it also cuts down on the indirect costs of absenteeism and disability.”

Your Health Profile helps individuals who fill out the HRA to better understand their own health risks. Upon completion of the confidential questionnaire, BCBSNC members receive personalized assessments of their health status, complete with tips on developing an action plan for maintaining and improving their health.

BCBSNC is offering Your Health Profile through an agreement with Summex Corp., a unit of WebMD Health Corp. that provides comprehensive health and wellness programs to employers. The HRA becomes available to BCBSNC employer groups in early June.

Cook Endoscopy in Winston-Salem offered Your Health Profile to employees in January as part of a pilot program. “The HRA is a big part of our plans to promote workplace wellness,” said Maryann Atkins, Human Resources Benefits Specialist at the maker of medical devices. “It’s giving us some insight into the health issues our workforce is facing that we couldn’t have gained through any other means.”

How It Works

Your Health Profile consists of an online or paper questionnaire designed by Summex and administered by BCBSNC. Questions involve such health behaviors as physical activity, eating habits and tobacco use, as well as self-reporting of height, weight and medical history. The questionnaire takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Upon completion, individuals receive their personalized health report outlining health status and risks. The report may suggest actions to take to improve health. Individuals are encouraged to share their report with their physician.

Individuals whose reports show risks for certain health conditions — and who indicate a willingness to improve their health — will be enrolled in BCBSNC’s Member Health Partnerships. The program offers customized support and education to members with one or more health conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, asthma or unhealthy weight. Also, members taking the HRA may access BCBSNC’s Online Healthy Living program for help with such lifestyle issues as weight loss and stress reduction. These tie-ins with existing BCBSNC programs enhance Your Health Profile, extending its reach beyond information and giving members the support they need to maintain and improve their health.

Employers with 50 or more employees completing the survey receive an aggregate summary report that includes suggested steps for addressing health issues within their employee population. The employer does not receive individual questionnaire results.

Who Is Eligible

Employer groups with coverage from BCBSNC, including self-funded employers who pay a fee to BCBSNC to administer their health plan, may use Your Health Profile. Workers at those employers who have chosen a BCBSNC plan will be given the opportunity to take the HRA. BCBSNC is offering Your Health Profile at no additional charge to employers and individuals when the survey is taken online.

Customers of BCBSNC’s Blue Advantage individual coverage also may take the HRA and receive a confidential health report. Blue Advantage customers should visit http://www.bcbsnc.com and click on “Member” to log into My Member Services, where Your Health Profile is available.

About BCBSNC:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.4 million members, including approximately 749,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 73 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at http://www.bcbsnc.com

Contact: Kyle Marshall or Heidi Deja

BCBSNC Media Line: 919-765-3005    

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DIA 6th Canadian Annual Meeting Benefit and Risk Management: An Evolution in Progress

DIA 6th Canadian Annual Meeting Benefit and Risk Management: An Evolution in Progress











Horsham, PA (Vocus) October 8, 2008

The Drug Information Association (DIA) will host the 6th Canadian Annual Meeting (November 5-7; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) to discuss a number of important issues facing Health Canada, the pharmaceutical industry, health academia, and the health care system.

As the universally respected forum for quality information exchange leading to better medicines that enhance health and well-being, DIA, along with members of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, are joining forces to promote safe and appropriate medication use among Canadians.

To this end, the 6th Canadian Annual Meeting will include parallel tracks focusing on:


    Biologics
    Risk Management planning
    Challenges in evidence generation and uptake in the real-world environment
    Pharmacovigilance planning
    Medical risk communications
    Progressive drug development
    Scientific and regulatory challenges of drug/Device combination products
    Quality-by-design continuous improvement
    International regulatory cooperation
    eSubmissions/Document management
    Natural Health Products

More than 30 exhibiting companies will be on hand to showcase their products and services.

About the Drug Information Association (DIA)

DIA serves more than 30,000 professionals in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and regulatory industries worldwide. Through its domestic and international meetings, training courses, workshops and webinars, DIA provides a neutral global forum for the exchange of information critical to the advancement of the drug discovery and lifecycle management processes. Headquartered in Horsham, PA, USA, and with offices in Basel, Switzerland, Tokyo, Japan, and Mumbai, India, the Association is led by its volunteer-based Board of Directors and executive management team. For more information, visit http://www.diahome.org or call 215-442-6100.

Contact:

Joe Krasowski

215-293-5812

Joe.Krasowski @ diahome.org

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Government 2.0 Requires New Information Technology Governance and Risk Management to Ensure Success

Government 2.0 Requires New Information Technology Governance and Risk Management to Ensure Success












Ottawa, Canada (Vocus) November 22, 2010

“Governments are faced with a ‘new normal’ of responding to increased citizen demand with reducing budgets,” according to Doug Hadden, Vice President Products at FreeBalance. FreeBalance, a global Government Resource Planning (GRP) software company, will participate in the FMI of Canada Professional Development (PD) Week. The annual conference is taking place at the Hotel Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada from November 22 to 26, 2010. The FMI conference is focused on striking the right balance of risk and control.

Doug Hadden will host an interactive session on how transparency and accountability have become strong themes in government. Titled “The Emperor Has No Clothes – Risk and Results in an Increasing Transparent and Government 2.0 World,” this session will explore how social media and open government initiatives have introduced a new risk and reward paradigm for public servant careers and for government organizations. Transparency, in itself, has become a key performance indicator. An updated methodology on calculating open government value and improving governance structures will be discussed. The session will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 pm, Wednesday November 24, 2010 in the Hotel Lac-Leamy Krieghoff Room.

“Government 2.0 supports government economic incubation and services modernization,” said Doug Hadden, Vice President of Products at FreeBalance. “Innovation is alive and well in government and will be further transformed thanks to Government 2.0. How Government 2.0 technology enables managing for results will be discussed during the session.” Many of the subjects to be discussed are being expanded on the FreeBalance Sustainability Blog — http://www.freebalance.com/blog .

The FMI of Canada 2010 PD Week will trace government efforts to counter the effects of the global recession. It features a series of workshops and information sessions that elaborate on risk and control, striking a balance and public service renewal. The annual five-day conference draws more than 2,400 public financial management professionals to the National Capital Region of Canada. Panel discussions and exhibits provide an opportunity for participants to explore a range of new ideas, products and services.

Members of the FreeBalance team will be available for the duration of the conference to discuss and demonstrate FreeBalance web-based Government Resource Planning (GRP) solutions. FreeBalance Version 7 supports the unique and evolving requirements of government, including GRP, Government Performance Management, Government 2.0, Shared Services and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). FreeBalance Version 7 covers the entire budget cycle and provides fiscal control over fund allocations, expenditures, appropriations, revenue administration, and human resources. FreeBalance Version 7 is a fully compliant J2EE solution. The n-tier architecture allows departments and agencies to leverage existing web, application and database clusters. Unlike traditional software solutions, the FreeBalance Accountability Suite is fully web based and has no hidden client/server technologies.

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite is one of the most widely deployed financial management systems inside the Government of Canada. More than 50 government departments and agencies use FreeBalance software for enhanced public financial management.

About the Financial Management Institute of Canada

The Financial Management Institute of Canada (fmi*igf) is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit volunteer association, founded in 1962. What started out as a small group of senior federal government accountants meeting around a lunch table to discuss issues of financial management and the role of financial advisors within government has grown to thousands of members, both within and outside the public sector, all working to improve the financial management of all levels of government across Canada. For more information, visit http://www.fmi.ca .

About Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden is an industry veteran with an extensive experience in enterprise technologies. Hadden has more than 20 years of management, sales, marketing and product management experience at several industry-leading public and private companies, including Standard Register, Delano Technology, Platform Computing, Hummingbird, and Olivetti. Hadden is a recognized expert in strategic planning and technology in government.

As VP Products at FreeBalance, Hadden is responsible for all aspects of global marketing, business development and product management. Hadden is also the Chief Customer Advocate responsible for aligning FreeBalance activities with customer priorities. He holds a BA Honours degree in Political Science from Carleton University.

About FreeBalance

FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit http://www.freebalance.com .

Media Contact:

James Elrick

Public Relations Specialist

FreeBalance

Tel: +1 (613) 218 4938

jelrick(at)FreeBalance(dot)com

http://www.FreeBalance.com

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Food Safety Thrives When Consumers Focus on Five – Focusing on Five Easy Steps Helps Consumers Reduce Their Risk of Foodborne Illness

Food Safety Thrives When Consumers Focus on Five -
Focusing on Five Easy Steps Helps Consumers Reduce Their Risk of Foodborne Illness













Washington, D.C. (Vocus) September 1, 2009

September marks the start of Food Safety Education month, a time for consumers to incorporate safe food handling practices that can reduce their risk of foodborne illness into their daily routine. According to the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 2009 Food & Health Survey, 52 percent of consumers perceive foodborne illness as the most important food safety issue, but the survey also found that people have room for improvement when it comes to following proper food safety practices at home.

Today, in a special Food Safety Education Month kick-off Web cast, experts highlighted the risks of not practicing proper food safety precautions at home.

“It’s important for people to know that they have some control in keeping their food safe,” said Robert Gravani, Professor of Food Science at Cornell University. “It’s remarkable how easy it is to incorporate simple food safety steps into your every day routine.”

5 Food Safety Steps to Keep Consumers Safe:

Purchasing: Make sure meat, poultry and seafood products — whether raw, pre-packaged, or from the deli — are refrigerated when purchased.
Cooking: Always cook to “Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures” and use a meat thermometer to check the doneness of your food.
Holding: Hold hot foods above 140 °F and cold foods below 40 °F.
Separating: Use one cutting board for fresh produce — and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Cleaning: Always wash hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds before beginning food preparation; after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching pets.

It’s important that proper food safety practices are followed throughout the food supply chain, from food manufacturers to government, farmers, retailers, government and consumers.

“The Food & Health survey data shows that consumers agree that food safety is a shared responsibility” said Tony Flood, Director of Food Safety Communications at the Foundation, “They’re looking to manufacturers and government first, but they also understand that they have a role to play too.”

The Foundation also has additional materials available on a wide range of food safety and defense issues available at http://www.ific.org/publications/other/foodsafetyresources.cfm.

For additional information on food safety, a copy of the 2009 Food & Health Survey or to schedule an interview with an expert please call the Foundation Media Team at 202-296-6540.

The International Food Information Council Foundation will effectively communicate science-based information on health, nutrition, and food safety for the public good. The IFIC Foundation is supported primarily by the broad-based food, beverage and agricultural industries. IFIC Foundation materials are available at http://ific.org/newsroom. For interviews with scientific experts or for more information, call (202) 296-6540.

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