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Health Biz (255)

The next time you check in to a hospital, keep in mind the old line, “you don’t know where those hands have been.”

Created a year ago in the merger of two Michigan health information exchanges, Great Lakes Health Connect continues to reap the benefits of a strategy shared by its two founding organizations.

Proponents of repealing or curtailing Michigan’s certificate-of-need law will find an ally in researchers at George Mason University who contend the regulations limit competition and consumer choice in health care.

The demise of the Alliance for Health means Metro Health Corp.’s proposed joint venture with Community Health Systems Inc. will go through the state certificate-of-need process without a local review.

When Alliance for Health ceased operations after 67 years, along with it went one link between health care providers and employers.

Two Grand Rapids-based hospitals are at loggerheads over how to continue operating the Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners.

Companies that want to become a magnet for bright, young talent might be well served by implementing a wellness program. As the millennial generation matures and employers face tougher competition for talent, companies have shifted their strategies to well-run wellness programs as part of their broader corporate culture to get employees better engaged in the workplace, according to winners of the third-annual West Michigan’s Healthiest Employers Awards from MiBiz.

When Southwest Michigan First looked to create a robust wellness program, the economic development agency wanted to add a level of thoughtfulness to its programming rather than focus on avoiding unhealthy behaviors or diets and eliminating sedentary lifestyles.

When an employer fully funds its employees’ health plan — meaning that workers get the total cost of their health insurance and their wellness programming covered — the company has clearly made a choice to be well-invested in the health and well-being of its employees.

You don’t need to build an onsite gym or hire a full-time personal trainer to create a wellness plan that works for your small business.

Consumers Credit Union may be technically new to the wellness game, having just formalized its program in 2012, but it’s something that’s been an informal part of CEO Kit Snyder’s management philosophy over his 30 years at the helm of the Kalamazoo-based organization.

Holland-based office furniture manufacturer Trendway Corp. learned the hard way that financial incentives don’t always produce the desired wellness results.

To create a successful wellness program, Grand Rapids-based Lacks Enterprises Inc. started by focusing on its corporate culture.

While wellness programs can result in real costs savings for companies, Zeeland-based Herman Miller Inc. takes a more measured view, one focused on the outcomes for employees rather than the company.

West Michigan employers who submitted entries in MiBiz’s annual Healthiest Employers Awards collectively scored below the average of their peers around the nation. The West Michigan entries received a composite score of 45.93, which compares to a national score of 48.74 on a scale zero to 100, according to Healthiest Employer LLC, the Indianapolis-based group that conducts the awards with partners in 46 markets across the nation that drew entries from some 1,800 employers. The index compiled by Healthiest Employer is based on 65 questions that can generate up to 600 points for an entry. MiBiz spoke with Healthiest Employer CEO Rod Reason to discuss the local results.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s partnership with an arm of WebMD Health Corp. could help to extend wellness into an area where it’s gained the least traction: small businesses.

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