Data to drive health care policy upgrades / HR alert: Employer group health plans / ODS strategic plan should include industry collaboration


CRN recommends industry collaboration, science-based updates, and more for ODS

As the only government-funded office—likely in the world—that supports and funds research, tools, and education focused on dietary supplements, the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) has unique influence and impact.

Therefore, CRN recommended that ODS extend its efforts globally to help other governments establish similar entities in other countries in recently submitted comments on the office’s draft strategic plan for 2022–2026.

  • To address emerging public health issues, CRN encouraged ODS to keep fact sheets such as its “Dietary Supplements in the Time of COVID-19” updated with the latest science. CRN pointed to the CRN Foundation’s Vitamin D & Me! website as a resource.

  • Meeting the unique nutrient needs of lactating women through dietary supplement use is under-researched, CRN noted, recommending ODS conduct or support research and education in this area.

  • To better educate stakeholders that reach consumers, ODS should target educational outreach to healthcare providers, including doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and others who regularly counsel their patients about nutrition, diet, and supplement use, CRN suggested.

What they’re saying: “As industry is an important stakeholder in the dietary supplement space, we recommend that specific language is developed in the strategic plan on how to develop and maintain two-way communication and potential partnerships with industry members,” CRN SVP Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Andrea Wong, Ph.D., wrote on behalf of CRN in the comments, as reported in Whole Foods Magazine. “Much of the language is one-way, coming from ODS to industry, but does not appear to be encouraged from industry to ODS, beyond commenting on the strategic plan.”

HR alert: HUB webinar to focus on employer group health plans

Join CRN associate member HUB International on Sept. 20 at 9:30 am Eastern for a webinar providing much-needed guidance and revisiting compliance duties for employers:

Employers with plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) hold well-established fiduciary obligations to operate their plans for the “exclusive benefit” of participants and to precisely document the pension, health, dental, vision, and other plans they sponsor. 

These decades-old fiduciary duties direct urgent compliance requirements for both retirement and health/welfare programs, with more than $124 billion in proposed funding for expanded IRS enforcement. It appears that costly compliance crackdowns are imminent, particularly as related to ACA’s employer coverage mandate and new transparency rules.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Expansion of fiduciary duties under retirement into health/welfare plans

  • Evolving fiduciary pressure stemming from the supreme court’s roe decision

  • Key components of fiduciary decision-making

  • Selecting plan service providers

  • And more!

Go all in: Register today—now is the time to prepare. Participants can receive 1.5 SHRM and HRCI credits.

‘Supplements to Savings’ report provides data to drive health care policy upgrades

The role of preventive care in maintaining individual and overall health and wellness, as opposed to a continued reactive approach focused on single-event interventions is gaining traction, a new report from the CRN Foundation and Frost & Sullivan explains.

By the numbers: The U.S. invests less than 3% of total healthcare expenditures on preventive care services. The “Supplements to Savings” report estimates only $59 billion in health care cost savings are currently captured and provides a cost-benefit analysis of chronic diseases avoidable with preventive care that includes the use of specific dietary supplement ingredients.

Why it matters: The “Supplements to Savings” cost-benefit model can be useful to key decision makers including patients, health care professionals, governments, insurance companies, and employers, as they contribute to policy making around health care. Each group also influences the extent to which dietary supplements should be promoted, allowed as FSA/HSA pre-tax purchases, included in SNAP, or subsidized in other ways.

Access the full report, or download individual chapters on:

Spread the word: CRN members are encouraged to share the Supplements to Savings report via their social media. Sharing CRN’s LinkedIn and Twitter posts is a great place to start. In upcoming months, CRN will feature the individual dietary supplement ingredients’ potential to confer additional societal health care cost savings and enhance quality of life for high-risk populations.

See past editions of the CRN Daily Supplement