March 25, 2014

External Affairs Branch
(916) 795-3991
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs

Agency cited for providing employees quality care with cost savings

SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) today was given the annual Value-Based Health Award from the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM). The award recognizes organizations for excellence in health care management. The IHPM is a global nonprofit organization that focuses on issues related to improving employee health, well-being and productivity as an investment in the workplace.

The award specifically recognizes a company or agency's actions to establish the full value of employee health and maximize its impact on improving performance and productivity. CalPERS was cited for its implementation of innovative health benefits, emphasizing a culture of health and wellness for members and communications about health with its members and stakeholders.

"We received this award because of the priority the CalPERS Board and staff give to our commitment to employee health, wellness and productivity," said Ann Boynton, Deputy Executive Officer for CalPERS Benefit Programs Policy and Planning. "It is an honor to have our continuing efforts to achieve the goals of CalPERS health initiatives recognized by IHPM. Staff's dedication to this work results in a health benefit program that continues to offer high-quality and affordable coverage to help our members improve their health and get more involved in their health care decisions."

Some of CalPERS efforts that led to the award included:

  • Adopting a value-based purchasing design model for hip and knee replacement procedures - which eventually led to members paying an average 30 percent less per surgery - as well as the incorporation of a similar model that covered colonoscopies, cataract surgeries and arthroscopies.
  • Implementing an integrated health care pilot program in Northern California that saved CalPERS and its members over $16 million in 2011 and has, subsequently, been expanded to other regions throughout the state.
  • Introducing health education and wellness programs in public and state agencies that led to documented improvements in employee health and productivity.
  • Implementing health care models with an emphasis on free preventive services well before they were required under federal law, and requiring health plans to include wellness programs for CalPERS members and their families.

Doug McKeever, Chief of CalPERS Health Policy Research Division, who is speaking at IHPM's 14th annual conference in Orlando, Florida on Wellness and Culture Change in the Public Sector on March 25, will accept the award for CalPERS.

CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S., with more than $285 billion in assets. CalPERS administers health and retirement benefits on behalf of 3,064 public school, local agency and state employers. There are more than 1.6 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and more than 1.3 million in its health plans. For more information about CalPERS, visit