JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — After piloting BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s worksite wellness program in 2010, State of Franklin Healthcare Associates (SoFHA) received a 4 percent reduction in premium cost for 2011. Employees participated in exercise and weight loss competitions resulting in lower average body mass indexes and healthier blood pressure levels among many other health benefits. The success of the program resulted in a statewide launch of BlueCross’ Well+Wise at Work Certification program.

“This is exactly the outcome we were hoping to achieve with this pilot,” said Renee Queen, manager of health promotion and education for BlueCross. “SoFHA’s success demonstrates that health initiatives work for our members. When employees are living healthier lifestyles, they tend to be more productive at work, take fewer sick days and use health care more appropriately, which over the long term, lowers medical costs. We are excited to now offer this program to other employers in Tennessee.”

With the goal of improving its members’ health and containing costs, BlueCross now offers the worksite wellness certification program to fully insured groups with more than 150 employees. After successful completion, companies are guaranteed a reduction in premium costs of up to 4 percent at contract renewal.

“Our success came from hard work and a team effort,” said Audrey Harless, SoFHA’s human resources director. “BlueCross set benchmarks and worked with us create a work environment focused on wellness. We want our employees to have the best quality of life possible, in and out of the work place. As a company, we want to support initiatives that improve employees’ job satisfaction and those that lower costs. This program has done both and we look forward to continued success of our health and wellness programs.”

Obesity and its related conditions cost companies more than $13 billion annually in medical fees and lost productivity. This includes an estimated 39 million lost workdays and nearly 62 million visits to physician offices.* Research indicates that for every $1 spent on worksite health and wellness, companies can save from $3 to $15 within 18 months of starting a program.**

SoFHA’s program has expanded this year with more educational, exercise and weight loss opportunities to increase employee involvement and save employees money on their health care premiums. About 95 percent of the employees participated in the pilot and signed up to participate again in 2011.

For more information on the BlueCross Well+Wise at Work program visit http://www.bcbst.com/learn/well-wise/.

*U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Prevention Makes Common ‘Cents’,” Sep. 2003.

** Policy statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association

About State of Franklin Healthcare

State of Franklin Healthcare Associates is dedicated to delivering quality healthcare to patients in and around the Johnson City community. The expertly staffed clinics provide a full range of patient care and are supported by the company’s independently owned service departments. State of Franklin Healthcare physician services include family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology. Additional services include a walk-in clinic, an outpatient reference lab, physical therapy and sleep study services.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.