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HealthBiz

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Mylan N.V.’s move to acquire Perrigo Co. plc is headed to a potential hostile takeover bid that will play out in the coming months.

It’s no longer enough for companies to focus their wellness plans on employees’ physical health.

Wellness is no longer just about getting employees to lose excess weight, exercise more or eat better to improve their physical health and maybe trim the company’s health-care costs.

Proposed regulations from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would provide employers some clarity as they look to avoid the scrutiny of federal regulators who are on guard for corporate wellness programs that they believe go too far.

Companies put a lot of resources and time into creating wellness programs, but even the best planning cannot guarantee that employees will get involved.

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.

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.

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.

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