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November 1, 2012

New CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard Helps Employers Improve Worksite Health

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new tool to assist employers in identifying gaps in their health promotion programs, and to help them prioritize high-impact strategies for health promotion at their worksites. The new tool is called the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard (HSC).

The tool contains 100 questions that assess how health promotion strategies are implemented at a worksite. These strategies include health promoting counseling services, environmental supports, policies, health plan benefits, and other worksite programs shown to be effective in preventing heart disease, stroke, and related health conditions.

Chronic diseases cause lost productivity and unsustainable health care costs. The CDC reports that productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually. While employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and hazard-free workplace, they also have opportunities to promote individual health and foster a healthy work environment. CDC encourages employers to provide their employees with preventive services, training and tools, and an environment to support healthy behaviors.

The CDC Health ScoreCard will help employers establish benchmarks and track improvements (evaluation) over time. State health departments may assist employers and business coalitions in using the tool and help find ways to establish healthier workplaces. State health departments also can use the tool for monitoring worksite practices, establishing best practice benchmarks, and to track improvements in worksite health promotion programs over time to more effectively direct resources to support employers.

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