U.S. Chamber, Care Continuum Alliance Partner on Health and Wellness Conference

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Care Continuum Alliance and U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced the U.S. Chamber's support as a strategic partner of The Forum 11, the Care Continuum Alliance 2011 annual meeting.

As a longtime advocate of workplace wellness and health promotion, the U.S. Chamber is partnering with the Alliance to showcase successful collaborations between employers and health and wellness program providers during this three-day (Sept. 7 to 9) educational event, in San Francisco.

"No one understands better the need to improve health and reduce chronic disease risk than employers," Care Continuum Alliance President and CEO Tracey Moorhead said. "Employers have led wellness and prevention efforts and understand that healthy workers are the key to a productive workforce and economic security. The Chamber is a welcome and valued partner for our meeting."

"A key tactic is to push health care investment upstream," said Randy Johnson, Senior Vice President of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits for the U.S. Chamber. "Instead of spending money on medical treatment for employees and dependants after they have a disease, leading-edge employers are investing to keep employees healthy and to keep disease, when it does occur, from progressing."

Seven of the 10 most common chronic conditions – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, mental disorders, pulmonary conditions and stroke – annually account for $277 billion in direct health care costs and $1 trillion in reduced productivity, due to absenteeism and presenteeism. Providing coverage for more than 136 million Americans, employers bear much of the cost of health care coverage and have embraced wellness and health promotion programs as an effective response.

A 2010 study in Health Affairs showed that wellness programs can reduce medical costs by $3.27 and absenteeism costs by $2.73 for every dollar spent; a growing body of literature has documented other health and financial benefits. The Forum 11 will showcase worksite health promotion programs adopted and developed by U.S. Chamber members and other employers and demonstrate the positive outcomes these valuable initiatives achieve.

"Employers provide a key testing ground for these strategies and advance our knowledge of what works in employee wellness," Moorhead said. "The U.S. Chamber and its members have been an important part of that process, and their commitment is reflected in this new partnership."

About the Care Continuum Alliance

The Care Continuum Alliance represents more than 200 organizations and individuals and aligns all stakeholders in the care continuum toward improving population health. Through advocacy, research and education, the Care Continuum Alliance advances strategies to improve care quality and outcomes and reduce preventable costs for the well and those with and at risk of chronic conditions. Learn more at www.carecontinuum.org.

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

SOURCE Care Continuum Alliance