Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wellness programs: employers like what they see

Employers generally believe that health and productivity management programs have a positive impact on their health-related goals, according to recent research from the Integrated Benefits Institute. The study, The Impact of Employer Health and Productivity Management Practices, found that employers believe that wellness programs reduce sick day/disability absences (44%), medical/pharmacy costs (43%), health-related lost productivity (36%), and presenteeism (32%).

IBI found that the three health and productivity management programs rated highest in overall effectiveness were early disability reporting (31.6% said the program "significantly improved" outcomes), transitional return to work (40.4%), and on-site providers (29.7%). While these were deemed the most effective at reaching corporate goals, they are used by fewer than half of responding employers.

In contrast, the two most prevalent wellness programs--employee assistance programs and smoking cessation programs--are used by more than three-fourths of employers, but are deemed to have a relatively low impact: 3.2% and 1.8%, respectively, said the program "significantly improved" outcomes.

The survey contained responses from 450 employers. For more information, visit


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