Lower Insurance Costs and Fewer Reportables, Claims
ThedaCare At Work, an occupational health service for employers and workers, first began serving Hoffmaster Group, Inc., at its Creative Converting plant in Clintonville and its Hoffmaster Foodservice plant in Oshkosh in 2011. The two facilities specialize in the production of all things paper, plastic, and party-related: cups, plates, matching napkins, and other decorative disposables.
Mary Beth Mazzocchi, RN, Amber Hermsen, RN, and Denise Kermitz, RN, of ThedaCare At Work care for the occupational health of Hoffmaster Group’s approximately 1000 employees at the two plants. They offer annual personal health assessments for employees and spouses, smoking cessation programs, on-site flu shot clinics, pre-employment drug screenings, and on-site injury and illness care. Anyone can confidentially tap into the employee assistance program (EAP) for help with workplace and family stressors, and the plants’ nurses are active on the company’s safety committees.
Accessible, proactive workplace health care has paid off in a big way for the people who make up the Creative Converting and Hoffmaster Foodservice workforce. Patty DeGoey, of corporate HR for Hoffmaster Group, has seen health care costs go down after both plants went smoke-free in March of 2015 and ThedaCare At Work stepped up to help employees kick the habit. “And if a person gets sick or hurt on the job with something like a muscle pull or minor cut, our nurse can take care of him or her before considering the need to send someone to the hospital or clinic. We safely resolve a lot of concerns with professional care right here, in-plant,” she said. The result? A significant decrease in OSHA reportables and workers’ compensation claims.
Dave Vierthaler, vice president of human resources, quality, and environmental health and safety at Hoffmaster Group, Inc., said, “We do and have experienced great benefits from having occupational health on site, including a physical therapist who conducts ergonomics studies for work stations or employees with special concerns.”
Vierthaler has also observed an interesting side benefit that’s evolved between the ThedaCare At Work nurses and employees. “The nurses have become trusted confidants for employees, a safe place to discuss a wide range of physical and mental or emotional wellness concerns,” he said. “It’s a benefit that serves the best interests of both us as the employer and the employees’. Our nurses are a trusted, confidential third party, and that’s hard to quantify, but it makes a big, positive difference for all of us.”
Mazzocchi oversees Hoffmaster Group’s quarterly reports and consistently gauges their ROI between two or three dollars for every dollar invested in ThedaCare At Work services. The robust return on investment takes into account hospital or clinic diversions, fewer OSHA reportables and costly interactions, up to 50 percent savings on flu shot vaccines, fewer worker’s compensation claims, and lower health insurance costs after smoking cessation and weight loss programs. “When we first came to Hoffmaster, the company didn’t fully understand what an occupational health nurse could do. Now I feel like they fully embrace who we are and how we engage with employees. They see the benefits in their bottom line and their workplace culture. It’s a healthier place to work.”
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 32 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.