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Zelle Hofmann Takes an Active Approach to Employee Wellness

November 4, 2009

With indications that healthcare premiums may increase more than 20% in 2010, the law firm Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP has adopted a new health and wellness program to work in concert with its current health plan. The new program, designed to encourage its employees to lead healthier lives, is also a way for the firm to deal with the challenge of rising healthcare costs felt across the nation.

“The Centers for Disease Control reported that one-third of U.S. deaths are due to diseases related to diet, physical inactivity and smoking,” said Zelle Hofmann Chief Administrative Officer, Jennifer Welch. “This new health and wellness program not only impacts the long term trend of healthcare expenses but also rewards individuals who demonstrate healthy lifestyles. The new program will increase the deductible amounts for all our medical plans, but then allows members to earn their way back to their current deductible amount by passing four specific health biometric thresholds: blood pressure, body mass index, LDL cholesterol and no nicotine.”

In order to support the firm’s health and wellness program, the firm began offering a variety of “Lunch and Learn” programs. With topics ranging from portion control to healthy food choices, these widely-attended, professionally-taught programs have helped to provide a backbone of support and information. Further support has been provided through the firm’s inaugural Health and Wellness Fair featuring local fitness consultants, nutritionists, massage therapists, medical and dental plan providers, and a representative from an activity-based weight management company, Muve, Inc.

Muve’s product, the Gruve Solution (developed in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic), helps corporate clients and their employees to become more healthy and productive, while reducing health care costs through measurable results. Zelle Hofmann recently completed a Gruve pilot and decided to roll out the program to its employees. Currently, employees are in the first few weeks of using Gruve and early indications show they are changing their habits and are becoming more active throughout the day.

"Most people seem to recognize their need for accountability to change their daily activity habits and to improve their wellness," said Zelle Hofmann Chief Operating Officer, Robert Pederson. "Gruve offers accountability and makes it fun with goals and color-coded reminders of progress throughout each day. Zelle Hofmann also offers challenges and incentives to our employees in order to encourage participation."

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