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Dr. Christine Maxwell

Dr. Christine Maxwell

Dr. Christine serves as our full time on staff Medical Director. She specializes in population health management, as well as financial claims analysis. With her public health knowledge, she assists our clients with developing tailored and cost effective wellness programs. She also advises our actuarial and underwriting staff with clinical insights to mitigate catastrophic loss and provide data driven population management.   Dr. Christine maintains a wealth of medical knowledge and is well versed in many aspects of medical care including, but not limited to, autoimmune disease, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular disease, women’s health, endocrine disorders, and neurologic and chronic disease states.   Dr. Christine holds undergraduate degrees in both chemistry and biology. She graduated from medical school in 2007. Her postgraduate training included six years of intensive training at the University of Arizona and the prestigious Mayo Clinic.   Dr. Christine has been very involved in the medical advocate role guiding patients and their family members through the complexities of our healthcare system.  Dr. Christine has also provided guidance to legal counsel as it relates to the standard of medical care.    Dr. Christine’s years in medical practice along with her dedication for quality and compassionate healthcare has led her to her current position as Medical Director for J.P. Griffin Group.
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Author's Posts

When Employees Should Take Sick Time

Dr. Christine Maxwell

We all have Cal Ripken-like employees in our offices - the ones who pride themselves on never missing a day of work. They are the ones who come in when the snow drifts are two feet high, when the highway is washed out due to a hundred year flood, or when they are on the cusp of falling over due to a cough and fever that would most likely kill the more feeble in our population.

And while we love that these attendance superstars overcome most of these obstacles, it’s the last one which should be of the most concern when caring for the overall health of your workforce. 

For employers, managing employees’ sick time is a challenge and even struggle. Some employees take sick time when they really shouldn’t, while others don’t take time when they ought to for the good of themselves and their fellow workers. The latter is especially harmful, as one person’s communicable disease can quickly spread to others. A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that working sick costs employers across the nation a cumulative $160 billion in lost productivity each year.

The following are some clear guidelines on when employees should and shouldn't take sick time, along with how employers can communicate the guidelines for the benefit of the entire workforce.

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Topics: Education, Employee Communications, Culture, Population Health

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How Incorporating Ergonomics in the Workplace Can Save Employers Money

Dr. Christine Maxwell

Hemingway and Jefferson were both "stand-up" fellows—literally and figuratively. These two famous writers preferred to work at stand-up desks because of the positive effects it had on their productivity. And though they were way ahead of their time, the benefits are clearer than ever before.

Long before the word ergonomics became a common term in the American vernacular, science has referenced the correlation between workplace design and human biomechanics and health. Derived from the Greek words ergo (work) and nomos (law), the word ergonomics has become a buzzword among health-conscious thinkers in recent years. Followers of this discipline focus on developing a workplace environment that is generally healthier for all employees.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2015, American workers missed 1,153,490 days due to work-related injuries. Ergonomic improvements have numerous workplace benefits and can be a useful healthcare strategy that can save employers money.

It's no wonder that once implemented businesses often see an increase in productivity, a noticeable change in attitudes, and a decrease in absenteeism. After all, when workers feel more comfortable and notice employers injecting healthy changes into their workday, both morale and productivity increases. This makes it a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

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Topics: employee health, ergonomics

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It's Already February; Here's How You Can Help Employees Keep Their New Year's Resolutions

Dr. Christine Maxwell

The new year is often a time for people to pause and reflect on the past year and consider things they’d like to change. This leads to new year’s resolutions, which frequently include health-related outcomes. Right about now, however, resolve to keep these resolutions starts to get a bit shaky.

Some of the most common new year’s resolutions are losing weight, eating better, exercising more, and engaging in more self-care. Anyone who belongs to a fitness club knows that January is the busiest month of the year, but the crowds start to thin out around mid-February, if not sooner. By that point, most people have given up on their new year’s resolutions and the steady gym members get their favorite machines back.

The bad news is the failure to implement the healthy lifestyle changes your employees were working on might have adverse effects on their mindsets. By the end of February, if they’ve abandoned their new year’s resolutions, they’re back to their old habits, picking up fast food at lunch, downing cans of soda, and probably feeling bad about themselves.

The good news is that you can help them turn things around. Maybe they need a little extra encouragement and support to follow through with their new year’s resolutions, both of which you can provide to them with a bit of effort.  

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Topics: Employee Benefits, wellness, workplace wellness, cost management, Culture

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The Difference Between Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Dr. Christine Maxwell

The terms health and wellness are commonly thrown together, thanks in large part to the prevalence of wellness programs promoting better health in the workplace.

It’s easy to see how the two terms could be interchangeable, but the difference between health and wellness is important.

Wellness programs largely focus on the idea of preventative care, which is primarily designed to save policyholders (and employers) money in the long run. Although many employers can unfortunately sink a ton of time and money into wellness programs without any strategy whatsoever.

The general idea is that if people are getting regular checkups, adhering to their prescribed medication regimen, and getting recommended vaccines, health problems can either be completely prevented, or at least managed before they become extraordinarily expensive.

Although it’s fair to say that one of the goals of wellness programs is to make people healthier, there is a difference between health and wellness. So let’s dive into this difference and why it matters.

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Topics: wellness, Employee Communications, employee health, workplace wellness, wellness program

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Keeping Your Wellness Program Compliant

Dr. Christine Maxwell

You don’t have to be a health insurance expert to know that healthcare coverage makes up a significant portion of businesses’ operating costs. Looking ahead to next year, Willis Tower Watson predicts the average annual per-employee cost for health insurance will increase 5.3% to $12,850 (up from $12,200 in 2017). Understandably, employers are always looking for ways to get a firmer handle on rising healthcare costs and often turn to wellness programs as a possible solution.   

Three Important Federal Laws That Affect Wellness Plans

Before you launch a wellness program, it’s important to do your homework. Mistakes can be costly for both your employees and your bottom line. One area you should pay particularly close attention to is the intersection of wellness plans and federal law. There are several comprehensive federal statutes that impact workplace wellness plans, so before you put your plan in place, make sure you consult with a legal expert who can help you stay on the right side of the law.

1. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) includes nondiscrimination rules that apply to wellness plans being offered in connection with group health plans. Under HIPAA, workplace wellness programs are divided into two categories: participatory wellness programs and health-contingent wellness programs.  

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Compliance, wellness, employee wellness, wellness program

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The Effect of Chronic Conditions on Employer and Employee Healthcare Costs

Dr. Christine Maxwell

It seems like the only thing we can talk about these days is the rising cost of healthcare. Whether it’s in the news or in the boardroom, healthcare costs are a major topic of conversation — and with good reason. Healthcare costs have been increasing for decades with no apparent end in sight. There are many differing opinions on how exactly to decrease costs and even more debate as to the cause behind them. What is the reasoning behind the drastic increases?

While that question may have many answers, one of the most impactful is the effect of chronic conditions, which require constant care from medical professionals. Chronic conditions range in severity and attention needed to manage them, which can dramatically affect the healthcare costs associated with them.

A recent study by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization committed to making “the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous,” looked into chronic conditions in the United States and their effect on healthcare costs. Their findings were both surprising and disheartening — but they do help explain at least one reason why overall costs are increasing so dramatically.

What Is a Chronic Condition?

A chronic condition is an illness that lasts for a prolonged period, but most definitions do not specify an exact period of time. For the purposes of the RAND study, they defined the term as a “physical or mental health condition that lasts more than one year and causes functional restrictions or requires ongoing monitoring or treatment.”

By this definition, we could assume that the term “chronic conditions” includes ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, anemia, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and mood disorders, among many others.

What Causes (and Contributes to) Chronic Conditions?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), there are four major health risk factors that “cause much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases and conditions.” They are:

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Cost Containment, Education

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