Write a 1,000 word paper that is divided into four sections. a) Situation Analysis b)Problem Analysis c)Solution Analysis d)Implementation Analysis
Alabama 1;ALABAMAS FAT TAX;Asbjorn Osland, San Jos State University;Pamela Wells, San Jos State University;William Jiang, San Jos State University;This critical incident was prepared by the authors and is intended to be used as a basis for;class discussion. The views represented here are those of the authors and do not necessarily;reflect the views of the Society for Case Research. The authors views are based on their own;professional judgments. The name of the marketing manager has been disguised to preserve;her request for anonymity but all other names are genuine.;Cassidy Talmadge, the Marketing Manager for the Alabama State Employees Insurance;Board (ALSEIB), was in charge of the public relations aspects of ALSEIBs wellness;program. She was taken aback that some of the media reports had been so critical when her;employer thought that it was trying to help employees. The media had sensationalized the;program by referring to it as a fat tax. How can she take the offensive and draw positive;attention to the program? She would have to wait a few months for success stories to develop;but she wondered what she could do to get the word out regarding such testimonials.;Description of the Program;ALSEIB wanted to find ways to reduce health insurance costs so it launched a wellness;program. Employees received a $25 discount toward their health insurance premium if they;did the following;participated in wellness screenings to check four risk factors: blood pressure;cholesterol, glucose, and body mass index;and if found to be at risk for one or more of the four risk factors, they agreed to;address their risk in one of four ways: 1) See physician for treatment/instruction on;how to address the risk, 2) Participate in the Weight Watchers at Work program;offered through the ALSEIB, 3) Join a YMCA facility that participates in the YMCA;Network offered through the ALSEIB, and 4) Address the risk with self;administration, under this scenario the employee would need to show progress in;order to continue receiving the discount.;Alternatively, they could have obtained a doctors excuse if there was a medical;reason for non-participation.;Employees were also eligible for a $30/month discount if they didnt use tobacco products.;Coupled with the $25 discount for the wellness screenings and follow up, if required, the;employees could have reduced their health premium to $15 monthly for a single employee;after discounts.;When asked about the program in March 2009, Cassidy believed that although there was;some misunderstanding early on, members proved happy with the program when it was;properly explained. She stated;It's just a matter of explaining that as long as they are addressing their health risk, they;will not be charged the premium. And we are spending a lot of time explaining that;Alabama 2;obesity is not the only risk factor being screened. Someone with a perfectly healthy;BMI may be deemed at risk for hypertension, making them subject to the premium.;We are doing our best to convey that obesity is not the ONLY health risk focus in this;program.;Blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and tobacco use were the other health risks typically;covered by wellness programs. Cassidy said that the media had been the biggest problem in;the roll out of the program. The wellness program was sensationalized by being called a fat;tax, which was a mistaken interpretation of the discount process. The State Employees;Association, an employees union, had been supportive of the program.;Cassidy explained;If the member is found to be at risk for any of the four risk factors, they are provided a;referral to visit a physician along with a co-pay waiver form. So, even if they are at;risk, they are able to go to their own personal physician, with no co-pay, and address;the issue. In addition, we offer the Weight Watchers at Work and YMCA;memberships at discounted rates, whether the member is at risk or not.;She added;in my opinion, the biggest misunderstanding is that if you are at risk for any of the;four risk factors, you will not receive the discount. When, in fact, if the member is at;risk and they address this issue w/ their physician or through one of the SEIB;approved programs (YMCA or Weight Watchers), they will receive the discount.;On November 18, 2009 she stated that 93% of 38,000 members had been screened. Many that;were found to be at risk did not know so. What the program needs is a few years of claims;information to show its savings.;To date (personal communication, April 19, 2010) Cassidy reported;The wellness program has gone really wellEverything and everyone has been;unbelievably cooperative and understanding. The screenings are going more smoothly;than ever and members actually call us now to find out when their next screening is;scheduled. Its almost as if its become a necessary part of their life.;We are also learning so much about what employees are doing to lessen their;conditions. There are diet and exercise programs that we have seen employees;success exceed expectations. So, we are now in a learning process of what we should;consider offering or supplementing for our employees.;The ALSEIB, in collaboration with the Auburn University Harrison School of;Pharmacy Clinical Education Center, has a wellness center that includes a pharmacy;and health center that is dedicated to the wellness of its active and retired state;employees. The SEIB Wellness Center allows state employees to receive free wellness;screenings, monitor their current health risk, and utilize the pharmacy located in the;Alabama 3;Wellness Center. A nurse practitioner will also be available in the upcoming months;to address minor illnesses for ALSEIB members.;ALSEIBs program provided the following services;medical and lifestyle histories used to screen individuals at the worksite and provide;follow-up;testing such as blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol evaluations with professional;health counseling follow up;administration of flu shots;BMI calculation and;Wellness Center and Pharmacy dedicated specifically to the well-being of ALSEIB;members.;William Ashmore in the Media;In an Auburn, Alabama newspaper article (Limerick, September 18, 2008) William Ashmore;the ALSEIB CEO, stated that the wellness program was voluntary.;Were doing this as an incentive to get employees to participate in the screening.;Its a voluntary program, and the vast majority of employees are appreciative of these;programs. The objective is to get as many employees as possible to go through the;screenings and for people to understand what risks they have. The main focus of;this program is on making each individual employee healthy. Healthy employees;cost the health plan less. We would have never gotten the employee association to;endorse this program if it discriminates against employees. I fully expect to see;more and more states do similar plans.... We already have numerous states call in on;a daily basis, asking questions about how do we do it (sic), looking at doing;something similar to this. Any program of this nature has to be focused on;improving the health of employees.;In a CNN interview (Sloane, December 9, 2008), Ashmore added;Over 10 percent of the people we screen are at risk for one of the factors we're;screening for, and the vast majority had no earthly idea they were at risk.A healthy;employee will cost the program less money. What we want to do is, number one;make the employee aware of any risk factors they may have and then knock down the;barriers so that they can go get the services they need.;What should Cassidy do to promote the Wellness program?;Cassidy hoped the furor regarding the fat tax misrepresentation of the wellness program;and premium discount was over. She wondered, How can we avoid such misunderstanding;and the accompanying negative publicity in the future? If the State of Alabama saved money;on health costs the legislators, ALSEIB, state government and the public would be happy, but;the first evaluation was more than a few years off. She knew that testimonials could prove;encouraging to prospective participants. The quicker changes could be smoking cessation and;Alabama 4;weight loss for those that dramatically reduced caloric intake and increased their exercise;regimen. People can lose three pounds or more per week for months if obese and under;medical supervision. She would have to wait a few months but she wondered what she could;do to get the word out regarding such success stories.;References;Limerick, G. (2008, September 18). Alabama initiates new health care plan. Auburn;Statesmen.;Sloane, M. (2008, December 9). Alabama to link premium costs to workers' health. CNN.;Talmadge, C. (2009-2010). Numerous personal email exchanges.
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