American Express Honored by IBI for Health & Productivity Leadership

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Express was honored with the Integrated Benefit Institute's 2016 Enterprise Health Management & Performance Award at the IBI Annual Forum. The award recognizes leadership in the area of health and productivity, and honors an employer that has worked with its employees to develop, implement and measure the impact of an innovative strategy. The award is sponsored by Castlight Health.

"Amex is a shining example of a company that has supported the health of employees while sustaining the performance of the business," said Dr. Thomas Parry, IBI's President. "From the starting point of managing healthcare costs, Amex expanded their perspective to promoting worker health while measuring health and productivity results. Ultimately, the company was able to link health to key business performance metrics."

"We congratulate Amex for earning the prestigious 2016 Enterprise Health Management and Performance Award, and for all the hard work they've done to advance the health and wellness of their employees," said Jonathan Rende, chief research and development officer, Castlight Health, Inc. "At Castlight, our mission is to empower people to make the best choices for their health and to help companies make the most of their health benefits. The benefits team at Amex exemplifies the same commitment, and recognizes the relationship between innovative benefits programs, productivity and achieving stellar medical outcomes."

In 2009, recognizing a new financial reality due to the global economic crisis and spiraling costs associated with poor workforce health, American Express (Amex) embarked on a new health and productivity strategy. Leadership believed that encouraging employees to be more engaged in their health and more conscious of price and purchasing was a crucial first step. To that end, Amex implemented a full replacement consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) that included all preventive services on a no-cost basis while simultaneously rolling out a nationwide wellness program that also focused on prevention and getting employees involved in their own health.

While their efforts were successful, leadership knew that they needed to continue to push the envelope and move beyond a clinical, acute-care model to a more analytical approach. The company brought Dr. Wayne Burton onboard to do just that. In addition to bringing workers' compensation in closer alignment with other benefits programs and renewing Amex's focus on their on-site wellness clinics, Burton added key questions to their HRA in order to quantify the health and productivity gains achieved via their integrated strategy.

The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when Burton met with business leaders at Amex customer service centers in India. A manager asked Burton how health might influence customer service scores. Burton was not familiar with the scores but had all the other information to "connect the dots" between health and customer service. The analysis demonstrated a statistical relationship between the health of employees and their customer service scores and allowed Burton to broaden the case for the value of workforce health from one of bottom-line health and productivity costs, to one of top-line revenue and business performance. As Burton explained, "American Express makes the business case for investing in workplace health and productivity because the overall investment in the well-being of our employees has translated into higher performance and better customer service."

The winner of the 2016 Enterprise Health Management & Performance Award was selected by IBI senior staff.

About the Integrated Benefits Institute

Founded in 1995, the Integrated Benefits Institute is a national, nonprofit research and educational organization committed to helping business leaders and policymakers understand the business value of workforce health and recognize the competitive advantages of helping employees get and stay healthy. IBI is supported by more than 1,100 member companies representing over 20 million workers.

CONTACT: Jackie Presutti Communications Lead Integrated Benefits Institute 415-222-7230Source:Integrated Benefits Institute