Wellness programs are now widespread and encouraged by the reform law. The Rand group was contracted to evaluate the characteristics and prevalence of these programs, the evidence for impact, the role of incentives and what are factors leading to success. (Rand Report) Rand reviewed the literature, did a survey of employers, analyzed a claims database for wellness impact and did five case studies of employer wellness programs. At least half of employers have at least one wellness effort, either health promotion, or primary or secondary disease prevention. The focus is on diet, weight, exercise, smoking, stress management and the usual litany of chronic diseases. A surprisingly small number of employees, about 46%, take advantage of these programs in some way and only about 20% participate in an intervention recommended based on HRA or screening results. That may change as more employers put higher incentives or penalties in place in regard to wellness participation. The literature suggests positive health effects on an employee population and on individual participants from wellness programs, but not as large as would be hoped. While employers strongly believe that their wellness programs reduce medical costs, absenteeism and health-related productivity, many have not actually done an evaluation. Rand’s analysis suggests a lowering of health utilization and costs for employees who do participate, a trend that appears to grow with increasing years in a wellness program. The Rand survey found the use of incentives is widespread and growing, most commonly for HRA completion and participation in a lifestyle intervention. Incentives appear to be effective in changing behavior, at least in the short term. Communication strategies, employee and leadership engagement and continuous evaluation were listed as factors in a successful wellness offering.
✅ Subscribe via Email
About this Blog
The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
Healthy Skeptic Podcast
This is an outstanding report on total global drug spending and trends, with projections out to 2025. It helps you understand this important area of health care, which does much...
June 1, 2021
MedPAC 2019 Report to Congress
June 18, 2019
What do you get when you combine a company with a commodity business model, that out of desperation massively overpays for another company that has a commodity business model? $10...
July 27, 2022
The “stupid” model for health care venture capital investing is alive and well. Everside health, which operates primary care clinics and has grown by acquiring other failing health care businesses,...
July 26, 2022
Apparently not even a cute name can save you if you have a stupid business. I constantly bemoan the mis-application of capital and health care is Exhibit A. Olive, another...
July 26, 2022
Access ACO Care Management Chronic Disease Comparative Effectiveness Consumer Directed Health Consumers Devices Disease Management Drugs EHRs Elder Care End-of-Life Care FDA Financings Genomics Government Health Care Costs Health Care Quality Health Care Reform Health Insurance Health Insurance Exchange HIT HomeCare Hospital Hospital Readmissions Legislation M&A Malpractice Meaningful Use Medicaid Medical Care Medicare Medicare Advantage Mobile Pay For Performance Pharmaceutical Physicians Providers Regulation Repealing Reform Telehealth Telemedicine Wellness and Prevention Workplace