PHILADELPHIA, June 06, 2012 - On average, unplanned employee absence accounts for the equivalent of nine percent of base payroll.1 While only a third of employers currently have formal return-to-work programs, only a third prioritize implementing such programs.2 Addressing the challenges persisting in many human resource departments, Cigna created the Cigna Worksite Vocational Services program to help employers improve their return-to-work program, educate managers and employees on ergonomics and managing health conditions at work, and provide job accommodation services to employees to help prevent and reduce absence and lost productivity.
For employees, the program offers access to services and resources to help them stay healthier and productive on the job. Education plays an important part in helping employees manage their health conditions and use proper ergonomics while at work, particularly for issues such as musculoskeletal, cardiac, or stress-related conditions. Employees can benefit from Cigna's individual ergonomic assessments and job accommodation assistance both before disability absence occurs to help them stay at work, and when an employee returns to work after a disability.
"Human resource professionals already feel stretched. Many companies don't have the in-house expertise or resources to effectively manage a stay-at-work and return-to-work program," said Mark Marsters, senior vice president of operations for Cigna's disability insurance business. "The Cigna Worksite Vocational Services program helps employers to maintain worker productivity and keep valued employees healthy and on the job, while also managing costs."
Designed for companies with 1,000 employees or more, the Cigna Worksite Vocational Services program provides a certified, Master's-educated vocational support professional as a single point-of-contact for the employer for program consultation. Cigna's program also trains and educates managers and employees about ergonomics, how to manage health conditions in the work environment, and how integrate the program with the employer's health clinic or on-site health resources. The vocational support professional helps at-risk employees in their efforts to stay healthy and on the job. If an at-risk employee does become disabled, the vocational support professional supports the employee's efforts to return to health and work quickly and safely.
Earlier this month, Cigna's Worksite Vocational Services program earned Dorland Health's Case in Point Platinum Awards top honors in the category of Rehabilitation Case Management based on the pilot phase of the program's results.
Cigna's Colleen McMurray, RN, MBA and Ryan Bruce, M.Ed., CRC authored a white paper for employers and a companion article for employees examining four of the most common work environments including office, industrial, service and health care. It provides tips on ergonomics that can help most everyone prevent common injuries from occurring. It can be downloaded and printed from http://www.cigna.com/protectingonesyoulove/.
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
1 "Survey on the Total Financial Impact of Employee Absences," Mercer/Kronos (2010); http://www.kronos.com/absenceanonymous/media/mercer-survey-highlights.pdf
2 "Survey on Absence and Disability Management," Mercer (2010); http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/1383785