Can the team approach to employee health succeed where individual appeals have fallen short? Kaiser Permanente and its unions are about to find out.

Kaiser has been experimenting with wellness initiatives designed to improve overall workforce health and contain medical coverage costs. Like many wellness plan users, Kaiser has set up plans that offer incentives to covered individuals who participate and show improvements in specific areas. Such incentive programs have met with varying degrees of success.

Kaiser was recently approached by union representatives with a different take on the incentives. What if worksites as a unit could pool their improvements in such areas as weight loss, smoking cessation, lower blood pressure, and other objectives commonly found in wellness plans?

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.