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Wellness Trends in 2020 & Beyond

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Employee health and wellbeing programs from five years ago hardly resemble the scope of solutions available today. The market is continuing to evolve as companies expand their definition of wellbeing.

Organizations are broadening their focus and thinking more holistically and strategically about the importance of their employees’ health by embracing cultures of wellness. With these concepts in mind, consider the following programming options to enhance your organization’s overall wellness program:

1. Alternative Access to Care

Virtual care has become a critical component of employee benefit design, giving employees greater access to health care support. Telemedicine and Concierge/Benefits platforms allow plan participants to navigate the health care system more efficiently for the right care at the right time, resulting in better experiences for the individual.

Companies should consider embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, which is entering the market as a modern approach to create a personalized experience for employees. As employees are continuing to turn to web-based solutions to manage their health, it is beneficial to include platforms and apps as part of your wellness plan.

Onsite and near-site clinics provide quick and convenient access to health care while also improving employee health and productivity. Clinics that incorporate multiple services, such as physical/occupational therapy, can additionally break down barriers that prevent individuals from seeking and complying with care. According to the “2019 Wellness Trends Report” by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, when looking at shifts in health care costs, a greater share of organizations reported that musculoskeletal conditions (arthritis, back, carpal tunnel, etc.) had a greater effect on health care costs than any other condition out there, including diabetes and cancer. There are many benefits to employer clinics, such as shorter wait times for initial appointments, little to no cost for services provided, provider relationships, and more.

2. Disease Management

Disease management generally involves a multidisciplinary team approach, including physicians, nurses, health coaches, dieticians, etc. Together, these individuals educate and help individuals manage their conditions. These types of programs have been successful at improving self-care practices and decreasing the use of various health care services, including hospital and emergency room visits.

With the use of data from multiple sources (medical claims, Rx utilization, workers’ compensation claims, etc.), providers can set a targeted approach in serving the individual, while also providing the employer with specific data analytics and predictive modeling to find areas of opportunity and concern.

3. Expanding Access to Mental and Emotional Health

In recent times, mental health is a central topic within the workplace. Yet, there is still a lot to be done to combat the stigma of mental health. Accessibility is key to a successful employee assistance program (EAP), helping to decrease the barriers to care that many employees experience.

Full scope EAP providers have gone beyond traditional access points to provide users with several avenues in connecting to care:

  • Phone
  • Web and mobile apps
  • Email
  • Tele-behavioral counseling
  • Digital behavioral health
  • Coaching via text message

All-inclusive EAP models provide an array of care beyond mental and emotional health issues, including work-life benefits in legal and financial assistance. An EAP has the potential to integrate with a population health management program, allowing employers to address concerns holistically.

So, Now What?

Businesses and executive leadership who understand the power of investing in their people go beyond offering “wellness” just as an “added perk” to their benefit package. Remember, the health and wellness programs from five years ago are not parallel to the solution opportunities of today. If your organization desires to create a culture of wellbeing that drives a special culture, driven to a higher level of performance, contact a Wellness Advisory Consultant today to talk about what’s possible for you.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.