OurHealth and Marathon Health, leading national providers of employer population health solutions, have created a strategic Return to Work framework to help employers address the impact of COVID-19 and resume operations while protecting the ongoing health and safety of their employees. The two companies announced their strategic combination in January.
Employers are under significant pressure to manage both the economic and health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the development of a clear plan for re-emergence. Inconsistent regulation across geographies and jurisdictions, uncertain testing and social distancing protocols, and potentially dramatic fluctuations in employee headcount and staffing are several of the dynamics driving immediate challenges for the leadership of U.S. employers. Marathon Health and OurHealth, trusted partners to more than 150 employers and approximately 600,000 patients nationwide, have begun rolling out a comprehensive solution to meet the need for certainty, clarity, and effective protocols, allowing employers to lay the groundwork to safely resume operations.
“We have a strong sense of urgency to help our employer partners create a strategy for both acute COVID-related dynamics as well as ongoing employee health and wellness, and our Return to Work approach is an important prong of our broader offering,” said Marathon Health CEO Jerry Ford. “I am extremely proud of our collective team for responding to this crisis and delivering much needed patient care on the front lines, as we simultaneously look ahead to return to work scenarios,” he added.
Dr. Jeff Wells, President of the combined organization, said, “Helping employers plan and execute on strategies to safely, responsibly, and expeditiously bring their employees back into the workplace will be a critical element of effective COVID recovery. Our Return to Work framework is based on four pillars that span workforce planning, physical space considerations, actively monitoring the population with screening and testing, and future-looking sustainability measures. Near term, we are focused on partnering with employers to resume operations with a critical emphasis on physical distancing approaches, and over time, facilitating contact tracing, vaccines, and treatment strategies to maintain and improve holistic employee health going forward.”
The Return to Work framework will help employers answer complex operational questions, including: where employees should go if they experience COVID symptoms, how and when to implement consistent policies across different geographic locations, and how and when to bring employees back to the workplace. The solution encompasses the following pillars:
- Workforce Planning: Evaluation and feasibility of response components tailored to the specific workforce; for example, public sector, manufacturing, hospitality, and food service, among others.
- Physical Environment: Evaluation of the physical workspace and identification of risks and opportunities to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
- Active Monitoring: Biomarker monitoring (temperature and other symptoms), including digital symptom monitoring, contact tracing, and virtual visits for those with elevated risk factors.
- Prevention and Sustainability: Measures to maintain a safe work environment, ongoing monitoring and follow-up and, as available, vaccines, effective treatments, and ongoing best practice learnings.
Employer response to the COVID-19 pandemic varies by industry, essential or non-essential personnel, physical work environment, and local infection rates. However, the elements of preparation, monitoring, operational response, and creation of policies to keep workers safe and productive transcend all employer types.
Marathon Health and OurHealth have conducted successful outreach and clinical intervention to over 100,000 of their covered patients over the past three weeks alone, leveraging a combination of virtual care solutions. By driving high levels of employee engagement with its clinicians, Marathon Health and OurHealth have demonstrated a track record of enhancing patient health outcomes, while delivering quantifiable, hard dollar savings to employer partners, all while maintaining industry-leading patient and provider satisfaction scores.