March 2016
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March 2016
The Buzz
Wellness Programs Require Oversight
Sunday, January 31, 2016

On paper, organizational wellness programs seem like a great idea. Employees live healthier, more balanced lives. They’re more productive at work and less likely to take sick days. They make fewer health insurance claims and keep costs low. But while these programs are growing in popularity, they are often bogged down with logistics problems. Legal questions arise about whether organizations can make such programs mandatory, as well as issues regarding the return on investment for such programs. One reason for this, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released earlier this year, is a lack of oversight. The report found that most employers were confident that the programs would ultimately save money, but fewer than half of these employers formally evaluated their wellness programs’ effects. Of those that did, the report found that the most effective wellness programs were those that focused on disease management programs for individuals already diagnosed with chronic conditions. These programs reduced average healthcare costs by about $30 per member per month. 

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