August 12, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COBIZ Inc. and incentaHEALTH Partner to Combat Obesity in the Workplace
Revolutionary incentive-based employee weight loss program helps employees lose weight while managing health care costs
Denver, Colo. (August 12, 2004) – COBIZ Inc. and incentaHEALTH LLC have partnered up for a revolutionary new weight loss program for the financial services company’s Colorado and Arizona employees. Overweight/obesity is second only to tobacco use as a contributor to the problem of soaring health care costs.
“We’re very excited to offer this valuable benefit to our employees,” said Pat Ludwig, VP and director of Human Resources for COBIZ. “As an employer, we’ve recognized that the health of our employees impacts not only our bottom line in terms of health insurance costs but also the level of service we’re able to provide to our customers. We see this program not only as a way to reduce our health-care costs, but more importantly as a way to increase our employees’ quality – and quantity – of life.”
The incentaHEALTH program is notable in its use of breakthrough health care technology that enables the system to support the weight-loss programs of numerous employees simultaneously. “We provide personalized daily exercise and nutritional coaching to each employee that helps them reach their long term weight-loss goals” says Jack Rule, Chief Executive Officer of incentaHEALTH. “Our program easily scales, allowing it to be offered to thousands of employees with the same level of individual care. The end result is a healthier employee and significant reductions in health care costs.”
“Our program is unique in that it is employer-based and uses proprietary automated technology, realistic and tailored exercise and nutritional advice and a unique incentive program to help participants modify their lifestyle and lose weight,” Rule explains. “The program rewards participants with cash incentives if body weight is lowered and maintained at the reduced levels.”
For the individual, the cash incentive provides a positive reinforcement and encourages participants to stick with the program. While participants may weigh in as often as they like, “official” weigh-ins are conducted on a quarterly basis. Based on the results of the quarterly weigh-in the employee may qualify for an incentive check. If the weight loss is maintained for the next quarter the participant receives a second check; if it continues, the check increases but if weight is gained, the checks stop. The funds for the incentive are made available from a portion of the employer’s health care cost savings generated from reduced lost time, medical visits, and pharmacy costs. IncentaHEALTH monitors the progress, processes the payments, and distributes the incentives to the participants; the sponsoring organization reimburses incentaHEALTH.
The incentaHEALTH program differs from other methods in its use of communication technologies to help employees change their behavior. “The incentaHEALTH system allows employers to simultaneously reach thousands of employees,” said Todd McGuire, Chief Technology Officer for incentaHEALTH. “We deliver a very personalized level of care to each participant. Since we are using secure technology to provide daily coaching and to track performance, the process is much more private than traditional, manual approaches. The product truly facilitates the creation of a HIPAA compliant program.”
“Best of all, the program works,” Rule declares. “Rapid weight loss is difficult to sustain, so incentaHEALTH focuses not on simply loosing excess pounds, but on reshaping the eating and exercise habits of individuals. By changing these patterns of behavior, sustainable healthy weight loss can be achieved.”
“We have already achieved tremendous success with COBIZ Inc. Approximately 50 percent of their employees have already signed up for the program in the first week,” said Rule. “We look forward to watching the results throughout the duration of the program.”
The incentaHEALTH program has been used successfully in a pilot program with Kaiser Permanente. IncentaHealth is currently developing numerous proposals to other corporations across the United States. IncentaHEALTH is based in Denver, Colorado and has been in operation since January 2003.
About COBIZ, Inc.
COBIZ INC. (www.cobizbank.com) is a $1.5 billion financial holding company headquartered in Denver. The company operates Colorado Business Bank and Arizona Business Bank, full-service commercial banking institutions that offer a broad range of sophisticated banking services – including credit, treasury management, investment and deposit products – to a targeted customer base of professionals and small to medium-sized businesses. COBIZ also offers trust and fiduciary services through COBIZ Private Asset Management; property and casualty insurance brokerage and risk management consulting services through COBIZ Insurance; investment banking services through Green Manning & Bunch; the management of stock and bond portfolios for individuals and institutions through Alexander Capital Management Group; and employee and executive benefits consulting and wealth transfer services through Financial Designs.
incentaHEALTH is an innovative health care technology company based in Denver, Colorado. incentaHEALTH’s unique patent-pending employee weight loss program is designed to lower employee’s weight while reducing an organization’s health care costs. The incentaHEALTH program has been used successfully in a pilot program with Kaiser Permanente. IncentaHEALTH is based in Denver, Colorado and has been in operation since January 2003. Visit www.incentahealth.com for more information.