By Raffi Terzian, M.D., Senior Medical Director at Health Advocate

As you’ve seen during the devastating 2018-2019 flu season, influenza (flu) can have a significant impact on the business community in terms of employee illness and loss of productivity.  (Keep reading for a special offer to help keep your employees safe from the flu this upcoming season at a discounted rate!)

Fast facts:

  • The CDC estimates annual direct costs in the US related to flu (i.e. medications and hospital and outpatient visits) to be in the billions.
  • The CDC also estimates that influenza has resulted in between 34.9 million and 40.1 million illnesses, between 482,000 and 585,000 hospitalizations and between 32,900 and 54,800 deaths during the 2018-2019 flu season alone.
  • Estimates vary, but there is a significant economic burden counted in the billions of dollars related to sick days and loss of productivity due to influenza.

It is clear that flu presents a significant public health concern which warrants the attention of employers who are concerned about employee health, productivity and overall health costs. Implementing an annual flu vaccination program is a vital component of a workplace well-being program.

Annual flu vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the flu, so it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared. The program should also include education for employees about the benefits of flu vaccination as well as important preventive measures such as regular handwashing and maintaining good health habits.

Prepare for the flu now and take advantage of a discount on flu shots!

Early bird discount details:

  • $33.00 per flu shot (Minimums Apply)
  • Offer applies to quadrivalent shots only
  • You must sign a flu shot contract with us by July 1, 2019

Contact us today to learn more:


Repeat recognition validates commitment to quality as foundation of e2H Health Insights Dashboard

Plymouth Meeting, PA, — West’s Health Advocate Solutions, a leading suite of health advocacy, navigation and integrated benefits programs, announced today that its engage2Health (e2H) Health Insights Dashboard has received the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Measure CertificationSM for the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) measures. Health Advocate utilizes HEDIS measures within the Dashboard to create a unique, personalized experience for its members and clients.

“Earning NCQA Measure Certification is a rigorous process, and only organizations that understand quality of care measurement and the intricacies of leveraging big data are recognized,” said Abbie Leibowitz, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chief Medical Officer, Founder and President Emeritus of West’s Health Advocate Solutions. “We are delighted to once again be included in this select group. Measuring and improving quality of care is the foundation of many of our industry-leading clinical programs, combining data-driven analytics with an innovative approach to ensure our members get the right care when they need it most.”

The administrative measure logic algorithm within the e2H Health Insights Dashboard earned NCQA Measure Certification for the following: Breast Cancer Screening, Cervical Cancer Screening, Colorectal Cancer Screening, and Persistence of Beta-Blocker Treatment After a Heart Attack.

This in-depth, customizable analytics and reporting platform offers clients:

  • Insights into key performance indicators, risk assessment and predictive modeling
  • The ability to more effectively target population health needs and identify and implement interventions
  • Actionable information to improve the health of their workforce and reduce medical costs

As a key component of Health Advocate’s industry-leading work in population health management, the Dashboard’s algorithms are at the heart of the company’s wellness and chronic care programs, identifying candidates for program participation and tracking outcomes.

Since its introduction in 1993, HEDIS has evolved to become the gold standard in managed care performance measurement. HEDIS measures are now used by approximately 90 percent of all managed care organizations to evaluate performance in areas ranging from preventive care and consumer experience to heart disease and cancer. NCQA’s HEDIS Measure Certification is precise, automated testing that verifies compliance with HEDIS Specifications and satisfies the source code review portion of the HEDIS Compliance AuditTM.

About West’s Health Advocate Solutions

West’s Health Advocate Solutions make healthcare easier for over 12,000 organizations and their employees and members nationwide.

Our solutions leverage a unique combination of personalized, compassionate support from healthcare experts using powerful predictive data analytics and a proprietary technology platform including mobile solutions to provide clinical support and engage members in their health and well-being.

Our members enjoy a best-in-class, personalized concierge service that addresses nearly every clinical, administrative, wellness or behavioral health need. Our clients benefit from high levels of engagement, improved employee productivity and health, and reduced medical costs, whilesimultaneously simplifying and upgrading their health benefits offerings.

For more information, visit us at www.HealthAdvocate.com

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in healthcare. NCQA’s website (www.ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed healthcare choices.

HEDIS® is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
NCQA Measure CertificationSM is a service mark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
HEDIS Certified MeasuresSM is a service mark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

NCQA HEDIS Compliance Audit is a trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Matt Verdecchia | The TriStater

Harassment can have a detrimental effect in the workplace, yet identifying what exactly comprises harassment and distinguishing it from unprofessional disrespect can create a challenge for organizations.

It is important to remember that we work in the environment we create and tolerate. Every employee has the right to work in a respectful workplace. Every employee therefore has the responsibility to help create and maintain that culture. This applies at every level of the organization.

While easy to understand, this concept can sometimes be tough to put into practice. It is much easier to look away from inappropriate, disrespectful and potentially harassing behavior, rub a rabbit’s foot, and pray it goes away. With this approach, we do not have to get past our own barriers and can avoid confronting this behavior, setting an appropriate example, enforcing policies, and looking like the “bad guy, party pooper, goodie two-shoe leader,” etc. However, by doing so, we enable the behavior, we give it legs, essentially giving the perpetrator unspoken permission to continue.

This all may sound a tad harsh, but in today’s busy environment, it is often easier to ignore inappropriate behavior than to supportively confront and correct it. While you may disagree on this point, what remains important is reducing risk for your organization. Your organization may employ managers and supervisors who do not want to deal with this issue, or have never been trained and do not know how to deal with this issue – either way they will be held accountable for addressing potential incidents.

Although harassing behavior is obviously a major issue, for organizations, another significant problem is how leadership chooses to deal (or not deal) with the presenting behavior, person, department, or even corporate culture.

The culture of an organization can have a major impact on tolerance and treatment of harassment and other similar behaviors. Keep in mind that not everything someone does or says to someone else is “harassment.” In fact, it likely isn’t. However, it may be disrespectful. There is no law that states “I have to respect you.” This behavior may constitute bullying, and there is also no law that states “I cannot bully you.” Although neither disrespect nor bullying are technically harassment or illegal, this does not mean these behaviors should be condoned or considered appropriate in your company’s culture.

This reinforces the importance of having policies and procedures in place to maintain a safe, productive work environment, including a code of conduct or ethics policy to help manage behavior and productivity. So even though the behavior is not illegal, it likely goes against company policy and is therefore subject to discipline. Managers, supervisors, and others in leadership roles are responsible for managing employee behavior and performance, including creating, maintaining and reinforcing the company culture.

Within the workplace, diversity and our differences contribute positively to the company culture. However, these same differences can also impact individual employee behavior. Even if the behavior is not considered harassment (i.e., against protected classes), it is important to remember that people have different levels of tolerance or perspective on what is appropriate or “reasonable,” and finding a consensus can be difficult. I believe in flexibility – a willingness to bend, stretch, and lean. It is in most people’s power to choose to acclimate to an organizational environment/culture. We hire not only for skills but for cultural adaptability. When incidents arise, it is possible to professionally address these issues and behaviors. If they persist, we have policy to assist and guide us as to a reasonable course of action. But when it comes to harassment – that stepping over the line between disrespectful, out-of-bounds behavior and into the realm of illegal harassment – we must be fair, objective, consistent, prompt, and “reasonable” in the enforcement of the policy, regardless of who the offending person is and what position they hold. Appropriately addressing these incidents in a timely manner will have a positive impact on company culture while mitigating risk for the organization. Remember: a respectful work environment is a safer work environment.