Welcome to the first in a series of newsletters about PPG’s Lifestyle Partnership. Lifestyle Partnership, a collaboration with employees, retirees and their families, seeks to improve the health of everyone in the PPG family and to help control soaring health-care costs that impact not only the company’s bottom line, but employee wallets as well.
“There is nothing more important than our employees’ health and safety. PPG has a legacy of providing quality health-care benefits to its employees, retirees and family members,” said Ray LeBoeuf, PPG’s chairman and chief executive officer.
“The key to a healthier life and controlling costs is bringing a quality-based approach to how the company and our employees use the U.S. health care system. This approach focuses on preventing illnesses and having all of us become better informed health-care consumers.”
PPG’s new “Take 5” Web site addresses these two issues by providing information and outlining simple lifestyle changes in the five areas that account for about half of all medical conditions among PPG employees, retirees and their families: cardiovascular health, diabetes, muscle and bone health, depression and women’s health.
By learning how to prevent and properly treat medical problems in these and other areas, employees can take an active role in improving their health and containing costs, said Kerry Rowles, director of payroll benefits.
Typically, U.S. employers control health-care costs in three ways: paying less by negotiating the best pricing with insurance providers, sharing the costs with employees, and reducing benefits.
“We are reaching our limit in using all three of these traditional strategies at PPG. Another option in combating double-digit growth in health-care costs is to demand better quality out of the U.S. health-care system,” Rowles said. “As a company, we are working with other businesses and health-care providers to improve medical outcomes, eliminate waste and reduce costs.
We can’t do this alone, however. We need our employees to partner with us by taking responsibility for lifestyle changes through preventive health-care actions.”
Statistics underscoring the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” still hold true, especially in this modern age of costly medical treatment and rising drug prices, according to Dr. Alberto Colombi, corporate medical director. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, daily exercise and avoiding use of nicotine are simple ways to prevent many illnesses, he said. Employees and family members also need to manage their health-care risk factors and request appropriate tests and procedures that should be performed at certain ages or when they are in high-risk groups. Simple steps, such as getting an annual flu shot or monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, can help employees and their family members to avoid costly medical care in the long run and improve their quality of life at the same time.
“As informed consumers, employees will know what preventive steps they must take to stay healthy,” Colombi said. “They also
—Dr. Alberto Colombi,
Corporate Medical Director
Click here to learn more about cardiovascular health, diabetes, muscle and bone health, depression and women's health.
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
Healthfinder—links to more
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