updated 5/24/2011 11:47:30 AM ET 2011-05-24T15:47:30

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 24, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arkansas' largest health insurer, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has selected Healthstat, Inc. to administer and manage an on-site health clinic for employees and dependents covered under its health benefit plan. With a goal of improving employee health and reducing associated costs, Arkansas Blue Cross anticipates serving as an example of how other Arkansas employers can benefit from the implementation of similar health management programs.

With approximately 2,700 employees, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of the state's largest employers. Well-versed in the tools available to control health care costs, Arkansas Blue Cross selected the Healthstat model because of its emphasis on managing chronic illness and proactive health management. Clinic costs are covered by diversion of care from other settings to the employee clinic and savings are realized from better management of those employees and dependents with health risks and chronic illnesses.

"The direct correlation between a person's health and cost is undeniable and Healthstat has a proven model of employee health management," says Arkansas Blue Cross Vice President of Human Resources Richard Cooper. "We are working to reduce our health care costs by improving the health status of our employees, and have made the clinic accessible to their families because we see value and opportunity in family wellness initiatives. So everybody wins. "

In America today, employers find that the 20 percent of employees on average with chronic health issues or symptoms typically spend 80 percent of the company's total healthcare dollars. One of Healthstat's primary functions is to identify chronic health issues and prescribe treatment to reduce the risk of serious illness. The result is fewer and less costly insurance claims, which lowers the employer's cost of providing health insurance to its employees. Most companies that implement Healthstat on-site clinics also cover the cost of employee co-pays, meaning employees save more, too.

The on-site clinic, located at Arkansas Blue Cross headquarters in Little Rock, Ark., will provide disease management, health risk counseling, and acute and urgent care for individuals covered under the company's health benefit plan. Healthstat anticipates that after 36 months, Arkansas Blue Cross will save $3 in health care claims costs for every $1 the company invests in the clinic. The savings comes from the combination of reducing the rising cost of health care services and increased productivity. Not only does having a health clinic located at work save time, patient wait times at Healthstat clinics average less than 15 minutes so productivity increases and employees get back to work faster.

Healthstat CEO Crockett Dale said, "It is particularly gratifying to serve as the solution provider of choice for the state's largest health insurer. There's probably no company in the state that better understands today's health care spending crisis than Arkansas Blue Cross, and they know that the best way to combat rising health care costs is to insure that employees get the care they need to achieve optimal health status."

About Healthstat, Inc.

Founded in 2001, Healthstat, Inc. is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. A leading provider of on-site primary care, high-risk health and disease management services in employer facilities, it is one of the country's only health care providers to have earned Wellness and Health Promotion (WHP) Accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Healthstat services are currently provided in more than 300 clinics with a combined employee and dependent population totaling more than 200,000 people. The service model offered has been proven effective through both the bottom line and the healthy life in various types of organizations, including Manufacturing, Retail, Governmental, Distribution, University, and Not-For-Profit Human Service Employer settings. For more information, visit www.healthstatinc.com.
 
About Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,700 employees. If combined, the 39 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans collectively provide health care coverage for 98 million — nearly one in three — Americans.

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