(1) The health care authority, in coordination with the department of health, health plans participating in public employees' benefits board programs, and the University of Washington's center for health promotion, shall establish and maintain a state employee health program focused on reducing the health risks and improving the health status of state employees, dependents, and retirees enrolled in the public employees' benefits board. The program shall use public and private sector best practices to achieve goals of measurable health outcomes, measurable productivity improvements, positive impact on the cost of medical care, and positive return on investment. The program shall establish standards for health promotion and disease prevention activities, and develop a mechanism to update standards as evidence-based research brings new information and best practices forward.
(2) The state employee health program shall:
(a) Provide technical assistance and other services as needed to wellness staff in all state agencies and institutions of higher education;
(b) Develop effective communication tools and ongoing training for wellness staff;
(c) Contract with outside vendors for evaluation of program goals;
(d) Strongly encourage the widespread completion of online health assessment tools for all state employees, dependents, and retirees. The health assessment tool must be voluntary and confidential. Health assessment data and claims data shall be used to:
(i) Engage state agencies and institutions of higher education in providing evidence-based programs targeted at reducing identified health risks;
(ii) Guide contracting with third-party vendors to implement behavior change tools for targeted high-risk populations; and
(iii) Guide the benefit structure for state employees, dependents, and retirees to include covered services and medications known to manage and reduce health risks.
(3) The health care authority shall report to the legislature in December 2008 and December 2010 on outcome goals for the employee health program.