Summit III Approves Wellness Bill

Participants in Texas Medical Association’s Healthy Vision 2010 Health Care Summit III, which included representatives of medicine, business, insurance, hospitals and other health care providers, and government approved a package of wellness recommendations for the 2007 Texas Legislature to consider.

Here is the text of “Summit Bill 1” as finally passed by a committee chaired by State Rep. Glenn Hegar Jr. (R-Katy):

SECTION I.        Launch pilot educational programs on health, nutrition, and fitness through government entities at all levels, in collaboration with private businesses and organizations. These would include both school- and community-based programs:

  • Strengthening health education requirements and evaluations in schools to include evidence-based classes on wellness, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco/alcohol/drug abuse prevention.    
  • Requiring school-year-round physical education in all grades, K-12.
  • Offering incentives for community organizations and local governments to provide wellness education and programs for residents of all ages.
  • Encouraging and incentivizing  wellness classes for adults enrolled in community health care programs.
  • Providing incentives for school districts and state-supported institutions of higher education to offer wellness programs to faculty, teachers, and employees.

SECTION II.      Led by the Department of State Health Services and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, partner with medical and health care organizations and private companies that have established wellness programs to offer the following resources to employers, health plans, local governments, school districts, and community leaders:

  • Technical assistance, 
  • Best practices guidance,    
  • Employee educational materials,   
  • Templates for rudimentary programs,
  • Health risk assessment tools that promote employee health, wellness, and disease prevention, and 
  • Information on tax and other incentives.

Undertake a campaign to educate employers about the positive return on investment from wellness programs.

SECTION III.   The state of Texas should study the development of and pilot test benefit design incentives to encourage healthy behavior and discourage unhealthy behavior. .

SECTION IV.   Offer all state employees an evidence-based wellness program and encourage their participation. Measure and publicize the return on investment of this program. These programs should be flexible for employees’ special medical needs.

SECTION V.     Ban smoking of tobacco in all public places, without preempting more stringent local laws. Fund the Department of State Health Services’ statewide tobacco cessation program.

Published in: on October 30, 2006 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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