Many employers are implementing wellness programs in an attempt to control healthcare costs. One of the most common aspects of a wellness program is the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). During the HRA process, the employee completes a questionnaire asking questions about their lifestyle habits. A wellness vendor then collects biometric data that includes height, weight, blood pressure and a blood sample. Blood tests vary but usually include a complete lipid panel and glucose reading. Reports showing employee and aggregate health risks are then generated. Health coaching follows the generation of the reports.
HRAs are good for giving an employee a snapshot of their health at that point but a problem arises: What happens next? We are all aware of the difficulty in changing lifestyle habits. Many people would like to lose weight, quit smoking or devote more time to exercise. Many people also fail in these endeavors. The challenge for employers is implementing a program that results in cost savings for both the employee and the employer while showing measurable improvement in employee health. The HRA alone can’t do this. This is when we must move beyond the HRA.
In order for a wellness program to be effective, there must be corporate commitment to providing year-round activities allowing for direct and frequent contact between the healthcare provider and the employee. The well-rounded corporate wellness program should include:
• An annual HRA with direct health coaching;
• Development of a personal wellness plan for each employee;
• Year round incentive-based wellness activities;
• Educational seminars that include topics related to nutrition, exercise and stress management;
• Smoking cessation classes;
• Regular access to either a health coach or medical
• Consideration of establishing an on-site medical clinic;
• Population healthcare risk analytics; and
• Flu vaccinations.
The best healthcare outcomes occur from face to face interaction between patient and provider. Nothing can replace the direct benefit of personal interaction. Electronic and telephonic services lack impact for the employee, resulting in low employee participation. Employers who are provided free internet-accessible medical services by their insurance carrier generally get what they pay for: nothing.
Many vendors provide HRAs and little else. It is time to move beyond the HRA. Offer your employees real, effective healthcare programming. Sensia Wellness can offer all of these services. We are an independent medical provider, without an affiliation with the big hospital systems. Our focus is your interests. Offer more than wellness—start your employees on the path to good health!
For more information about Sensia, contact Ashley Johnson at: (414) 988-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.