Monday, February 1, 2010

Wellness programs: a helpful primer

While Congress goes back to the drawing board on health reform, or perhaps tries to "reconcile"*  itself to the current situation regarding comprehensive health care reform, employer-provided plans must continue their ongoing efforts to control the cost of health care.

(*This is your legislative-nerd pun for the day.)

For those who now are interested in exploring wellness programs as a cost-reduction measure, check out this helpful overview of the key concepts in the area published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Three types of programs fall under the workplace wellness rubric:

--Health Risk Appraisals---These employer-sponsored surveys gather information about a person’s health status. This information helps the employer to identify risk factors (e.g., smoking) that can then be managed in workplace wellness programs.
--Wellness programs—These programs focus on a specific goal such as weight management or smoking cessation. Studies cited by the Foundation state that wellness programs have shown a return on investment of $3-15 per each dollar invested.
--Workplace clinics—Some employers have actually established onsite health clinics that offer primary care services to employees at their job location. The Foundation Report provides real-world outcomes generated from these clinics by employers such as Pitney Bowes and CVS.

For CCH Employee Benefits Management customers, you can find more information on wellness programs beginning at ¶20,020. Not a customer? Go here to learn more.


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