The Nordam Group achieved medical cost savings of more than $1
million under the first year of its wellness program, Chairman and
Chief Executive Ken Lackey said Thursday.
The Tulsa manufacturer and supplier of aerospace parts and
systems hopes to surpass that this year.
"We're trying to attract a well-educated, productive work force
necessary to compete in a competitive business environment," he
said. "This is how we get recognized as an employer of choice."
Speaking to a luncheon audience at the University of Oklahoma's
Tulsa campus, which was broadcast to the OU Health Sciences Center
as part of Oklahoma Wellness Week, Lackey explained how Nordam
started the program in 2006 with several key elements:
* Wellness contracts providing up to $200 rebates for
participation. Lackey said 466 of Nordam's 2,200 Oklahoma employees
(Lackey called them "stakeholders") signed up.
* Several free health screening and immunization programs.
* Providing Weight Watchers programs at work. Through three
classes, each covering 15 to 17 weeks, 63 Nordam participants lost
* Tobacco cessation programs. About 200 workers participated,
although Lackey said he couldn't say how many actually gave up
By the end of the year, without any significant insurance
coverage changes, Lackey said Nordam's individual medical costs fell
7.3 percent, even as it added 183 workers to its rolls. It saved
$454,000 in medical spending costs.
Since national medical costs rose an estimated 8 percent to 10
percent, Nordam calculated its wellness program represented savings
of more than $1 million - at a cost of $91,000.
Lackey said the results so pleased Nordam, the company more than
doubled the program's budget this year, to $190,000 - and 250
employees signed contracts in the first quarter.
Added features added to the program included:
* Making Nordam tobacco-free - and not just on company grounds,
but along bordering curbs and other areas, so that employees
stepping just off the grounds to catch a puff were not at risk of
being hit by a passing vehicle.
* Establishing a full-time health coordinator position.
* Boosting the rebate program to $300 while simplifying the
* Adding individual health assessments, with incentives.
* Establishing a database to better track results.
* Improved communications and activities, including health fairs,
an intranet site and creation of a sports and athletics panel.
* Encouraging executive leadership through physicals,
consultations and individualized health plans. …