Workplace absences due to short-term disability were reduced 15 percent among high-risk individuals who received supportive services through a CIGNA pilot program, according to preliminary results presented earlier this month at the Disability Management Employer Coalition's International Conference.

The pilot program, which began in 2009, involved 118,000 individuals from 26 client employers. Using its proprietary predictive model to analyze medical, disability, pharmacy and other data, CIGNA identified individuals with a 10 percent or greater risk of missing work due to a disability in the coming year.

Of those identified as high-risk, 80 percent were randomly assigned to receive outreach and integrated support, including personal health coaching from a nurse advocate, as well as connections to other health support programs, such as lifestyle management, employee assistance, disease management and vocational stay-at-work programs.

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