As wellness remains a popular buzzword around most businesses – is your wellness program driving the success you need to deem it “beneficial?”
While participation-based programs help to engage your employees and offer insight into their health, do they encourage behavioral change?
Laura Czekanski, Wellness Supervisor at The Horton Group, stated, “participation-based programs are a great place to start, but as we work with our clients to grow truly-effective wellness programs, ones that focus on behavior change and driving claims reduction, we need to concentrate on outcomes-based programs.”
Let us look at Horton’s case study – For over a decade, Horton hosted participation-based biometric screenings. While the organization had good participation, our trending data was not moving in the direction we wanted. We weren’t getting the level of behavior change we wanted as reflected in claim and screening data. In addition, our goal is to be an industry leader in worksite wellness and to do that we needed to continue to engage our employees in a variety of ways. Moving to an outcomes-based program allowed us to continue to provide more onsite services and ways for our employees to engage as well as improve their health.
Fast-forward two years; we completed our first full year with valued partner, HealthCare Interactive (HCI), who focuses heavily on disease management and tracking outcomes-based programs. We have seen great success in both results and engagement, which validated how an outcomes-based program shifted the needle by putting more accountability on employees to change their health and maintain lower premium statuses.
When designing our program, Horton wanted to look at two main areas, leifstyle-related conditions, and high-cost claims categories. The first was areas people could change through a worksite wellness program; and the second was to help improve the bottom line, saving on claims dollars. These areas have a major influence on high-cost diagnostics categories such as Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Musculoskeletal pain/issues. By engaging in these areas, we were able to empower behavior change through the resources we provide and have a stronger, more long-term ROI as we continue to invest in our program and employees alike.
A critical key to an outcomes-based program is providing resources to help drive behavioral change. Part of our overall culture is to help our employees be successful. As an organization, if Horton were going to ask employees to improve their health metrics, we wanted to provide various resources to help.
Through HCI and other partners, our employees had access to RN’s, telephonic and digital health coaching, various online education tools, onsite dietitians, various other vascular and cancer screenings, gym subsidies and several other programs to aid them in their wellness journey – therefore resulting in very impressive metrics we are happy to share.
The Horton Group
- A substantial metric of improvement in our population was the healthy percentage of cholesterol, with an increase of 5%. This improvement helps point us in a better direction away from issues with cardiovascular disease, but more importantly, displays the positive effects of lifestyle changes. Cholesterol levels improve through a low-fat heart-healthy diet and increased physical activity. We can safely assume that by having a 5% improvement in this category that these employees made positive lifestyle adjustments in both their nutrition and physical activity.
- Another noticeable improvement was the percentage of healthy waist sizes amongst all males and females, a 3% increase for each category. This too indicates healthier food consumption choices and more exercise. From a clinical perspective, improving one’s waist circumference, and thus reducing the amount of adipose tissue in the abdominal regain, has several positive health effects. This one change has a positive domino effect on several systems within the body, such as improving one’s circulation, blood pressure, glucose response, and lowering the pressure on the musculoskeletal system. All of these, together, improve one’s quality of life and reduce the likelihood of a larger medical claim in these areas.
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