Survey: Employers Want More Value in Health and Wellness Programs

Employers are putting a broader focus on the overall value of health management within a workplace, according to the ninth annual Willis Health and Productivity Survey.

Employers offering health and wellness programs are looking beyond the financial bottom line to evaluate success, according to a new study released this month.

Employers are putting a broader focus on the overall value of health management within a workplace, according to the ninth annual Willis Health and Productivity Survey.



Discover the latest generation of financial wellness incentives that are seen as an effective way to moderate healthcare cost increases and improve employee well being.

This report will help you and your organization establish best practices in administering your work site wellness program.

Click hear for details: Incentives That Drive Employee Participation in Wellness Programs


A unit of Willis Group Holdings plc, a global risk advisor, insurance broker and reinsurance broker.

The survey called 2015 a “watershed year” for employer-sponsored health and wellness programs. Willis saw two different mindsets emerging in how organizations approach the measurement of wellness program success.

More organizations are realizing the expectation of an immediate return on investment (ROI) for their wellness programs though medical cost reduction is unlikely, the report states. The survey showed more organizations are focusing on the value of investment (VOI) of a program, which is based on factors that include employee morale, worksite productivity, employee absence and safety.

The survey of 703 respondents showed 64 percent with VOI-focused wellness programs compared to 28 percent with ROI-focused programs.

For full details click here: Employers Want More Value in Health – Wellness Programs

Successful wellness program can trim disability, absence costs | Business Insurance

Leveraging a workplace wellness program to reduce short-term disability claims and employee absences can be achieved, and benefits from top management’s buy-in to the strategy. At Richmond, Virginia-based CarMax L.L.C., Benefits Director Janet Bruington said the auto retailer identified a link between a

Source: Successful wellness program can trim disability, absence costs | Business Insurance

Wellness Management: Interns In The Workplace – Energy, Enthusiasm And Real Work Experiences

Most wellness professionals know internship programs exist, and may have even been an intern at some point. Yet surprisingly few workplaces use interns in their wellness programs.

From our archive – as relevant today, maybe more so than when we first produced this report. Wellness Program Management Advisor spoke with William B. Baun, E.P.D., F.A.W.H.P., at the time manager of wellness programs at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has used interns for more than 20 years.

Baun’s programs target M.D. Anderson’s 16,000 employees. “I enjoy having interns around. They bring a renewed sense of energy and excitement about their chosen fields to the work environment. They ask questions that we have stopped asking ourselves. They cause us to look at processes that have gotten stagnant over time and help keep us abreast of the newest models and theories being taught in school.”

Since wellness is a broad field, a variety of schools are potential sources for internships.

Public Health
Exercise Science
Health Education
Corporate Wellness or Health
Community Health Education
Social Worker
M.D./Ph.D. (working on MPH projects)

Internships may be as short as a week or two, but typically run 30 to 60 days. For that reason Baun recommends a project-focused strategy. “With such a short amount of time, we give our interns a piece of a project.

“Whether it is the planning stage, marketing, implementation, or evaluation, we define our expectations, get them comfortable with their tasks, then walk away and let them run with it,” he said.

Baun recommends this approach for another reason.   Continue reading

Healthy reminder: HIPAA rules apply to most workplace wellness programs

By   John L. Barlament,    Quarles & Brady LLP

Wellness programs are great ways for employers to provide guidance on ways employees can improve their health through fitness, diet and various other means. But oftentimes, employers forget that wellness programs may be an extension of a company’s heath care plan. As such, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules apply equally to these wellness programs as they do health care plans.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a list of questions and answers to remind employers of their HIPAA obligations with regard to wellness programs.

In the release, titled “HIPAA Privacy and Security and Workplace Wellness Programs,” HHS clarifies which wellness programs are subject to HIPAA rules. That is, any workplace wellness program a company offers as part of a group health plan for employees. “Where a workplace wellness program is offered as part of a group health plan, the individually identifiable health information collected from or created about participants in the wellness program is [protected health information (PHI)] and protected by the HIPAA Rules,” HHS says.

Full details:

Empowering Your Wellness Council For Program Success
60-Minute Wellness and Health Promotion Management Training Program on CD-Rom

This program zeroes in on how you can nurture, strengthen, grow and harness the  full power of one of the most essential components of a successful workplace
wellness program – your organization’s Wellness Council.

Discover strategies to turn your Wellness Council into the very “heart and soul” of  your organization’s wellness program.
Click here for details: Empowering Your Wellness Council For Program Success

Proposed New Rule Would Amend ADA, ACA Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace Wellness programs that may be part of a group health plan or  are offered outside of a group health plan will be affected under proposed regulations released by the The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC. The agency is accepting comments that must be received by the Commission on or before June 19, 2015.

This proposed rule provides guidance on the extent to which the ADA permits employers to offer incentives to employees to promote participation in wellness programs that are employee health programs, said the EEOC.

The agency said references in the proposed rule regarding the requirement to provide a notice and the use of incentives, and changes to the corresponding section of the interpretive guidance, apply only to wellness programs that are part of or provided by a group health plan or by a health insurance issuer offering group health insurance in connection with a group health plan.

The term “group health plan” includes both insured and self-insured group health plans and is used interchangeably with the term “health plan” throughout the preamble.

“All of the other proposed changes to the regulations apply to all “health programs,” which include wellness programs whether or not they are offered as part of or outside of a group health plan or group health insurance coverage. The term “incentives” includes both financial and in-kind incentives, such as time-off awards, prizes, or other items of value,” the agency said.

Several law firms analyzed the proposed changes.

Following are links to several of the reviews:

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on workplace wellness programs | Data Privacy and Security Insider.

Wellness Committees Prove Their Value

Workplace wellness committees are important elements of successful workplace health promotion programs, according to the results of a workplace wellness management survey conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor and

Almost 75 percent of the survey participants said they have a wellness committee for their organizational programs, and 80 percent said the committees are important for the success of their workplace wellness efforts, the survey revealed.


“The feedback the committee members provide is invaluable,” said a wellness program manager. “They represent the employee population and are very plugged in to what they need and want from a workplace wellness department.”

The committee also helps compose wellness information surveys that are circulated among all employee groups; in addition, they assist wellness department members with survey analysis, the manager said.

“We believe it’s important to know what people outside the wellness department are thinking and feeling,” the respondent noted. “We think we know, but the wellness committee often brings other issues to our attention. It’s a good idea to have many minds that are generating ideas. That’s a valuable service.”

Wellness Committees: Best Practices and Proven Strategies for Success

90-Minute Workplace Wellness Management Training Program on CD-Rom
Get step-by-step practical ‘how-to’ details; the qualities to look
for in prospective members; insider ideas on how to go about choosing
your wellness committee wisely,  crafting your mission statement, the ground
rules and organizing the early-stage meetings of your committee.

And the end result is program and process improvement, respondents noted.

“It’s a way for us to hear what others want and need in a wellness program,” said a project leader. “New ideas and suggestions are the things that help us maintain focus.” Continue reading

Managers Less Concerned About Return on Investment From Their Wellness Programs and More Concerned About the Overall Health and Wellness of Their Employees, Study Finds


Gaining senior management for their wellness program and return on investment are among the two top searches we have found over the years. And, proving ROI hits the tops of the list of wellness managers concerns.

ROI, how senior management measures any and all activities in an organization, has always been a major concern of wellness professionals, we have found during our surveys.

And, on top of that there are a few individuals – not directly working in the workplace wellness management field per se – who have been throwing cold water on certain reports surrounding ROI.

But the good news for wellness professionals come from the results of a recent study that found that managers are less concerned about return on investment from their wellness programs and more concerned about the overall health and well-being of their employees.

Indeed, employers are looking beyond ROI when they implement workplace wellness programs found the results of a study by Humana and the economics Economist Intelligence Unit.

For instance, nearly 70 percent of executives “consider their organization’s wellness program to be cost effective, even though not all of the outcomes are measurable,” according to the study report “Measuring Wellness: From Data to Insights.”


Secrets to Wellness and Health Promotion ROI: How Successful Managers Attract and Motivate Increased Participation in Their Programs PDF Format

Save at this Budget Buster Price Now only $49.95

For details please click on this link: Secrets to Wellness and Health Promotion ROI: How Successful Managers Attract and Motivate Increased Participation in Their Programs PDF Format


Humana said the study explored “why companies implement workplace wellness, how data influences these programs and identifies obstacles that inhibit program participation.”

The study was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and surveyed 225 U.S.-based executives and 630 full-time employees from organizations with workplace wellness programs..

“It’s interesting to validate that employers now view ROI as an important, but not exclusive or even primary measure of a wellness program’s success,” said Beth Bierbower, president of Humana’s Employer Group Segment. Continue reading

Wellness Program That Motivates Participants to Make Healthier Choices Yields Better Health, Lower Costs, Tracking Data Reveals

Improved health, as shown through lower health care costs and fewer unscheduled absences were found among employees who actively participated in the HumanaVitality program, according to results of a recent study.

Among the significant findings from the two-year study:

  • Unengaged members in both years averaged $53 more per month spent on health care claims than members who were engaged in HumanaVitality both years.
  • The largest impact on health care costs was on members with lifestyle-related chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Engaged members with these conditions had 60 percent lower health claims costs than unengaged members with these conditions.

Free Report for Instant Download

“Predicting The Future Of Workplace Wellness Management: Bright, Growing, Transforming”

To download the report click here: Predicting The Future Of Workplace Wellness

  • Also, unscheduled absences were 56.3 percent higher among unengaged members in both years than engaged members.

Continue reading

Active Listening Essential for Wellness Professionals – at Work and Home

After a rough day at work — placing others people’s problems into perspective — you may be faced with communication conflicts at home as well. For that reason, effective communication is a must!

According to Stephen M. Horowitz, Ph.D., who at the time achieved FAWHP status, active listening is a very important component of communication. Active listening, said Horowitz, “defuses anger by acknowledging the emotion and it allows you to decide whether or not you want to ‘buy into’ someone else’s momentary craziness.” Continue reading

Motivating Employees Always A Challenging Goal, Managers Say


Motivating and incenting employees to participate in their organization’s wellness programs is a much cited chief concern of wellness and health promotion professionals responding to the Workplace Wellness Management Survey, sponsored by the  Wellness Management Information Center.

Among the expressed concerns of wellness managers were such comments as getting employees to “buy in;” participation and commitment; “getting people engaged and participating;” ample time for the employee to participate in any programming;  “how to retain employees once they are engaged in the program;” the lack of individual employee motivation; getting people to use their memberships; and motivating additional participation.

The problem is employees “have so many work-related time constraints that sometimes it is difficult to get them to see wellness programs as a good use of their already limited time,” said a corporate nurse practitioner.

Concerning employee enrollment in programs a manager health promotion said: “Those interested in the interventions are the ones who need the interventions the least.”

Keeping employees once they participate in a wellness program is Continue reading