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Bona-fide Wellness Program

Angie Huyghe's Profile

Looking for advice on implementing a bona-fide wellness program

Answers

Jane Levin
Title: Corporate Controller
Company: Private
(Corporate Controller, Private) |

I have not seen many companies pull this off well as it can be hard to get the execs to buy-in: try emphasizing the bottom line impact in lower insurance premiums and reduced absenteeism. If you can quantify those benefits up front you'll have a better shot at getting the program out.

There is a good, free website that has aggregated a lot of information about worksite wellness programs: http://www.infinitewellnesssolutions.com/index.html. It is provided by a company that offers solutions in the space (I have not heard of them or used them before) but they have a fair amount of free info on the subject and might be useful.

Here is an interesting article on the subject: http://www.e-hresources.com/Articles/Nov2.htm and another here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704843304576126881739536672.html.

Michael Engelhardt
Title: Senior Partner
Company: Grafton Partners
(Senior Partner, Grafton Partners) |

What I have seen work very well is a tiered program utilizing a company called Interactive Health Solutions (IHS), a certified nutritionist and someone internally that is maintaining records.

IHS performs an in-depth analysis of each employee after a screening has performed and each employee gets their own personal 'report card'. Once they get this, they supply a copy to their personal physician and then review it with the certified nutritionist. The nutritionist gives them a goal to accomplish over a 12 week program (weight, cholesterol, BP, smoking or some other related issue).

The nutritionist returns to the worksite every week to review the progress of each employee and the results are documented at the end of the 12 week program.

Those that accomplished their personal goals are rewarded somehow. The reward also needs to be personal, so there is appeal to a wide variety of employees (lower insurance costs, gift card, IPOD, time off...). This part is variable.

When 'selling' this to the C-Suite, the Wellness Committee should document how success will be determined and that the goal is not to reward the already healthy people, but to make an impact in the health profiles of those employees that are not chronic already, but could regress into a chronic state. This population is typically 65% of the workforce and could provide the greatest protection against future cost increases or even induce cost decreases.

There is technology in the marketplace that can help document the before and after results. It is very powerful.

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