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How CHWs Can Help Businesses and Unions

Across the country, businesses and unions are seeing the impact of rising health costs on the corporate bottom line and on take home pay. Value-based purchasing will better align provider incentives for performance and sophisticated claims analysis can yield helpful utilization trend data to identify areas for improvement. However, telephonic and mail approaches can fall short, especially with employees with low literacy due to foreign-born status or educational attainment. Targeted education by CHWs can be part of the solution.

  • Does your company or union include foreign-born workers at Minnesota locations who are not familiar with the US health care system?
    • Bilingual CHWs can teach workers how to use our complicated health care system
  • Are you finding that your workers are not accessing cost-effective preventive services such as immunizations and screenings that are provided under your benefit package?
    • CHWs help workers and their families understand the value of preventive care and the importance of early detection and intervention.
  • Do your claims data show patterns of overuse of emergency room services?
    • CHWs can educate your workers about when, how and where to access health services and divert costly emergency room visits.

Spotlight: Langdale Industries, Valdosta, Georgia

Langdale Forest Products is a self-insured wood products company employing 800 workers. The company has created a program of care coordination and health coaching targeted to the top five percent of “high-utilizer” employees based upon their diagnosis and medications for chronic disease or a record of high cost claims. Langdale contracted with Lowndes County Partnership for Health (LCPFH), an independent nonprofit, to employ an individual who functions as a CHW. This individual works as a member of a team with the medical management nurses, case managers, and doctors, meets face to face with patients, attends medical appointments and helps to engage patients in the process. Langdale has seen a net ROI of about 3:1 from cost savings. Langdale is beginning a formal case study on implementation of a similar program with Johnson & Johnson Corporation and Emory University.

Reference: Rush, Carl H. and Mason, Theresa. Final Report of Findings Under Contract PREV2635/Community Health Worker Policy Initiative – Public Health Seattle-King County, January 31, 2013, p. 28.

Consider the benefits of integrating CHW services to your company’s benefit package or to your union’s health and welfare fund. Contact the Alliance to learn more.