Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dispite Research Belief Remains Workplace Wellness Does Not Save Money But They Are Wrong

The conventional believe continues to be workplace wellness programs do not save company's money despite what the current research demonstrates. Many believe the return on investment is very low if at all. In fact the belief is it takes as long as 3 years to demonstrate any savings or employee health improvements.

Where does this belief come from? It was true in the past, but not any more. Why was it true?

It was true based on how wellness programs were delivered. In past the focus of wellness programing had been on trying to get the sick people healthy. This is known as disease management and not easy to do. To provide a disease management service requires persistent monitoring from a health coach, a close relationship with the primary care physician, medical specialists, medical testing, and pharmaceutical intervention. This requires a great deal of time and expense.

Previously when wellness programing was offered to the entire employee population improved health had not been required. These programs are fun, some get healthy but most do not.

Despite popular belief there is a good return on investment for wellness programs.  A recent study published February 2014 by Digital Access Harvard Review (DASH) Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings demonstrates this in their report:
  •  medical costs fall about $3.27 for every dollar spent
  • absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent
The environment is changing. Results oriented wellness programing is available, although according to Wellness Councils of America only 5% of companies in this country is results oriented, the other 95% are not. New research is underway to focus on results such as improved health and return on investment. Our best advise is to look for a qualified wellness consultant to help you find results oriented wellness options. 

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

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