Whether you prefer the words, “health management” or “total population health management” to “wellness,” the research is undeniable: the benefits of a well-designed and executed health management program are significant.
- Increased employee productivity
- Improved employee morale
- Real potential for cost savings through improved employee health
Every year the Willis Human Capital Practice surveys U.S. employers about their organizations’ health management programs, and we report our findings in The Willis Health and Productivity Survey report.
Why Cost Control is so Difficult
This year’s 830 respondents identified three main challenges to controlling health care costs:
- Employees’ poor health habits (48%)
- High-cost catastrophic cases (48%)
- The underuse of preventive services (36%)
How Employers are Reducing Costs
More than half of the respondents, 54%, are providing employees tools and resources to become better health care consumers.
- 50% or more respondents are actively promoting health improvement programs.
Incentives remain a popular component of a health management strategy.
- 79% of respondents offer incentives
- 23% of respondents reporting an outcomes-based incentive strategy.
Our survey supports that investing in a health management strategy should be on every organization’s radar. As Dee Edington, PhD. stated in his landmark book, Zero Trends: Health as a Serious Economic Strategy, the “do nothing” approach to health management is unsustainable.
Guest blogger Beth Stewart is Willis’ Regional Wellness Consultant, based in Arizona. With Willis since 2010, Beth consults with clients to design, implement and evaluate their worksite wellness programs and benefit plan design.