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Main Line Health to Implement New Smoking Policy in an Effort to Improve Employee Health and Reduce Health Care Costs

Monday, February 24, 2014

(Bryn Mawr, Pa. – February 24, 2014) – Main Line Health will implement a new “Tobacco Use Impact on Employment Policy” aimed at reducing the use of tobacco and nicotine products among Main Line Health employees. As part of the new policy, Main Line Health will no longer hire tobacco and nicotine users after May 1, 2014. Additionally, when registering for Main Line Health medical benefits, current employees will be required to certify whether or not they use tobacco or nicotine products. Those who use tobacco or nicotine products will pay a surcharge for their health care benefits beginning in 2015.

“As a health system, it is our responsibility to set an example of wellness and disease prevention for our patients, employees and the community,” said Paul Yakulis, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Main Line Health. “And, as good stewards of our financial resources, we also know that placing this focus on smoking – a behavior related to significantly increased medical costs – can improve both our employees’ health and Main Line Health’s financial well-being.”

Smoking is the #1 leading cause of preventable death. Research shows that smoke-free policies can dramatically reduce illness and even death from heart disease. For the past 25 years, Main Line Health has maintained a smoke-free policy within all of its buildings, and in 2009, this policy expanded to include the grounds of each campus. This new effort enhances the health system’s commitment to promoting health and wellness.

Under the “Tobacco Use Impact on Employment” policy, applicants will have to certify that they have not used tobacco products or nicotine in any form in the 90-day period prior to submitting an application to Main Line Health, and that they will remain tobacco-free during their employment with the health system. In addition, their offer of employment will be contingent on a negative nicotine lab screening result.

Employees found in violation of the policy will be subject to disciplinary action, requiring them to complete a smoking cessation program and be subject to random nicotine lab screenings for a two-year period.

To help Main Line Health employees become tobacco-free, the health system offers free smoking cessation classes. The six-class program includes access to Chantix and/or nicotine replacement therapy products as well as individual follow-up support. Employees who complete the classes receive a $100 incentive payment.

About MLH

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health (MLH) is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region’s respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; and Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, a home health service. Main Line Health also consists of Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multi-specialty physician networks, and the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit biomedical research organization located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Main Line Health also consists of four outpatient health centers located in Broomall, Collegeville, Exton and Newtown Square. Main Line Health hospitals, with more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, are the recipients of numerous awards for quality care and service, including recognition among Truven Health Analytics’ list of Top 100 Hospitals and top 20 percent of health systems in the nation, and Magnet®, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence. Main Line Health is among the area’s leaders in medicine, providing advanced patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

Contact
Bridget Therriault
Director, Communications
Office: 484-580-1025
Cell: 484-222-9154
therriaultb@mlhs.org

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