MedicAlert Foundation® Launches New Health Service for Employers
TURLOCK, CA – April 4, 2013 – MedicAlert Foundation International, the leading provider of emergency medical information and identification services, has launched a new service, MedicAlert Essential™, designed to help employers improve care for their employees and control health coverage costs, particularly in medical emergencies where rapid access to employee information helps to enhance the efficiency of care and ensure optimal treatment.
Though best known for its medical ID bracelets, MedicAlert Foundation’s information network based-services extend far beyond that and have several applications for employer groups. The MedicAlert Essential™ service is beneficial for all employees who want to take charge of their health and ensure they are prepared for medical emergencies. It also addresses a major concern for traveling executives and employees who work on the road and for those who work in remote locations who often wonder ”what happens to me in an emergency?”; or “how will my family know that I have been in an accident?” The MedicAlert service provides timely notification of employee hospitalization to their families as well as their health plans. This not only improves case management response and increases the chances of favorable health outcomes for employees, but also helps contain healthcare costs.
As an example, it is estimated that as many as 33% of those who are hospitalized may experience harm or an adverse event, often from preventable errors. In a previous study conducted by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, people who experienced an adverse event had extended stays at the hospital which averaged 8 to 12 days longer than those who did not experience an adverse event. The study concluded that extended hospital stay increased the average cost by $16,000 to $24,000, not including costs to employees, such as lost days of work or the impact on their families.
The study indicated many of these adverse events are simply due to a lack of information regarding the person’s allergies, medications or pre-existing conditions. The result of not having this information readily available may lead to delayed diagnosis, improper treatment and adverse drug reactions, which increases costs and have negative effect on employee health. MedicAlert services are designed to make sure this information is available within minutes. Aside from peace of mind and other benefits for employees and their families, for a company with 500 employees, the avoidance of one adverse event involving an employee would pay for the MedicAlert Essential™ service for all employees for approximately 6 years.
“Our employees are the biggest part of our success as a business, we decided to invest in our employees and sponsor MedicAlert memberships for everyone that is employed here because not only can the membership save lives, but it also helps us manage our healthcare costs “said Lynn Bull, Benefits Administrator at Winton-Ireland Strom & Green Insurance Agency.
Andrew Wigglesworth, president and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation International, noted “By ensuring prompt access to vital employee health information, the MedicAlert service improves care coordination and outcomes for employees while maximizing efficiencies for employers paying the bill. It’s a win-win for both employees and employers and a relatively inexpensive way for employers to show employees they really care about the people who work for them.”
About MedicAlert Foundation International
MedicAlert Foundation International provides the functionality of an e-health information exchange through an innovative combination of a unique patient identifier linked to a personal health record and a live 24/7 U.S.-based emergency response service. Established in 1956, the nonprofit MedicAlert Foundation pioneered the use of medical IDs and delivers the most dependable, responsive, intelligent and trusted Emergency Medical Information and Identification and Network. MedicAlert medical IDs alert emergency personnel to a member’s primary health conditions, medications, allergies, and implanted medical devices. In addition to its 24/7 emergency response service, MedicAlert Foundation ensures providers or designated case managers are notified to enable continuous, comprehensive care with better coordination between patients, physicians and other providers resulting in improved quality of care and outcomes. Visit www.medicalert.org/corporate for more information on MedicAlert Foundation.