Is there a most cost effective way for health and wellness programs to operate? That is the question companies and organizations ask
themselves as they structure human resources programs to serve their employees
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The number of companies with such programs is growing. A
survey by a unit of the global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings showed
that 60 percent of companies were operating a wellness program in 2011—a
double-digit increase from the year before—and nearly all of them were making
plans to expand the programs. Physical activity programs were the most popular
type (53 percent), with tobacco cessation (49 percent) and weight management
(45 percent) programs right behind.
A highly significant statistic coming out of the survey of
nearly 1,600 companies is this: 43 percent of employers said they were having
difficulty determining how effective their programs were in terms of affecting
health care costs. That is, the companies couldn’t say for sure that their
programs were a bottom line success.
EMPLOYEE CORPORATE WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Another report examines this issue in more detail, arriving
at some straight-forward evidence of the cost-effectiveness of various health
and wellness programs. The report by Health Fairs Direct, a corporate health
and wellness consultant, analyzed 50 studies by high-profile institutions,
including DuPont, CitiBank, and Duke University. The authors of the report compiled
a list of programs and figured the return on investment of each initiative.
Topping the list was the so-called health risk assessment, a
popular tool for determining current health conditions as a prelude to goal-setting.
The report concluded that each dollar spent on health assessments produced
$6.04 in savings. Fitness and wellness coaching each returned $4.90 for each
dollar spent, with smoking cessation saving $3.50, and flu shots $2.10. Obesity
management surprisingly returned just $1.17 for each dollar spent.
It remains to be seen if this breakdown of ROI from various health and wellness programs will influence HR decision-making this year and next as
the word spreads throughout the corporate world. If the report’s conclusions
are embraced, the push for employee health assessments is liable to ratchet
upward and at least some of the clamor to reduce obesity fade away.
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side by side. If you are at present utilizing an worker wellness plan,
just beginning your search, or just need general information concerning wellness
programs please just complete our user friendly form online and a wellness
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