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Why Hospitals are Becoming Top Employee Wellness Providers - eBook Transcript

Hospitals Bring Wellness to Employers

Hospitals have some of the best employee health programs in the world. These programs combine prevention and healthcare in a way that lowers costs, improves productivity, and keeps workers happy.

Other kinds of employee wellness programs have had mixed success. Many employers take a hands-off approach, turning programs over to wellness vendors aligned with their health plan or benefit consultants.

Now, health systems are using their robust prevention and healthcare capabilities to become leading employee wellness providers in their communities. It’s a natural fit, and a game-changer for employee wellness programs.

Check out these 9 Reasons Why Health Systems are becoming Top Employee Wellness Providers:

Health Systems & Employee Wellness: A Natural Fit

1. Hospitals are Trusted

Participants see the hospital as a trusted resource with the capability to help them improve their health.  On the other hand, participants often see a stand-alone wellness company as simply helping the employer cut costs. 

2. Hospitals Have The Right People In Place

Hospitals have the trained nurses and equipment to do onsite biometric screenings. Hospitals have patient health educators, who can lead onsite classes and programs at employers. Hospitals have personnel who can be cross-trained as Health Coaches - including nurses and health educators.  At the time they win the contract, many out-of-town wellness vendors haven’t even interviewed or hired the people who will implement the program.

3. Hospitals Have Capabilities that Wellness Vendors Will Never Have

Unlike wellness vendors, hospitals can do healthcare. They can provide medical followup for problems identified at the biometric screening. They can coordinate care for participants with multiple chronic conditions. They can provide onsite clinics at large employers, or near-site clinics across several employers.

4. Hospitals Are Developing Relationships, not just Revenue

Employee wellness programs are the best vehicle hospitals have to connect with patients who have excellent health insurance.

That’s why hospitals run great programs that are focused on developing strong patient relationships - not just wellness program revenue.

5. Hospitals Can Solve the Biometric Bottleneck

Traditional employee wellness programs include one set of biometric screenings per year. They’re forced into rigid, less effective program designs based on once-a-year data.

Hospitals have the capability to take updated biometrics or pull them out of the EMR - enabling more flexible and effective designs for wellness programs and incentives.

6. Hospitals Can Provide Total Care

Hospitals employ health educators, doctors, nurses, psychologists, medical technicians, and a range of specialists to serve their patients. These people, working as a team can better and more effectively serve the needs of diverse employer populations. It’s not just a referral to primary care

7. Hospitals Can Connect With Individuals When They Are Most Ready for Change

Often, the best time for participants to make a lifestyle change is during or after a life event.

Hospitals have the ability to catch the person at this point and engage them in dialogs and programs that can help facilitate behavior change.

8. Hospitals Are “In Network”.

Employers and participants already have a relationship with the hospital as part of their health care network. They see prevention and wellness services as a natural extension of that relationship

9. Hospitals Bring the Data Together

Because the hospital already has an EMR and access to a host of other data, it can offer a richer integration of relevant data sources to more effectively manage a participant.

In many cases, the data the wellness program needs is already available - avoiding repeated tests or faxing of paper forms.

Choosing The Right Partners

Many health systems understand the clinical parts of employee wellness - such as screening events and onsite clinics - but don’t have the tools and expertise to run an overall wellness program. For these hospitals, the fastest way to get started is by partnering with a robust wellness portal.

With the right partner, they can deliver Health Assessments and Population Health Analytics, run Challenges and other Engagement Programs, track participation in Coaching and Onsite Programs, and administer Wellness Incentives. The right portal gives them the tools to serve employers of all sizes.

Some Questions Hospitals Might Explore

  • Do I currently have a wellness program for employees?
  • Do I want to expand my reach in the community?
  • Are we looking for new sources of revenue?
  • Are we trying to improve our payer mix?
  • Can we scale our current employee wellness program out to clinics and on-site to local employers?
  • What would that take?
  • What partner capabilities would we need to complete the offering?
  • What employers would we target if we wanted to offer wellness services?
  • Who would lead this effort?

Benefits of Hospitals Leading Wellness Programs

  • Greater Participation & Engagement
  • Prevention and Healthcare are Coordinated
  • Better Program Designs and Outcomes
  • Able to Manage the Whole Participant
  • One Source Can Deliver The Care and Run The Wellness Program

About the Author

Jesse Hercules is the President of Extracon Science, a leading health promotion company. Mr. Hercules is a frequent speaker and writer on health promotion topics, including speaking at the American Journal of Health Promotion’s annual conference, and the American Heart Association’s annual Worksite Wellness Conference.

About Extracon

Extracon creates wellness portals for employers and resellers - including Health Assessments, Online Programs, Team Challenges, and Incentives. The portals can also manage the data from Biometric Screenings, Onsite Classes, Onsite Programs and Events, and Coaching Programs.

The Extracon portal is designed to accept updated biometrics throughout the year - allowing hospitals and onsite clinic providers to design more effective programs and incentives based on participant biometric improvement during the year.

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