Optima Health's Incentive-Based Wellness Program Bends Cost Curve

A success story about ROI from a press release found on Digital  Optima Health, the insurance arm of Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare, has saved $4 million over a five-year period since the start of its employee wellness program!  They saved $2.70 for every dollar invested. Projected healthcare costs came in $2 million dollars under projections in 2011 ($23 million vs $21 million).
Their wellness program is called “Mission: Health”, a cute play on Mission Impossible. And the numbers show how health measures can have a direct impact on the bottom line… the savings come from an 85% improvement or maintenance of blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, tobacco use and level of exercise.
Read the original press release at Digital Journal Online

Jump on the workplace wellness bandwagon

Another article highlighting the advantages of workplace wellness programs in the Great Falls Tribune. This one comes as a bit of a commentary on the recent debate around Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, and how it may have become a convenient way to distract ourselves from actually taking steps towards better health.  “Reuters reported in April that obesity surpassed smoking when it comes to health care costs. The annual price tag of chronic diseases caused by our overeating and inactivity is $190 billion a year.”
A great quote from the article comes from the VP, director of HR, at D.A. Davidson, who launched their workplace wellness program in 2003:

“The reality is that with a healthier work force, you’ll have better attitudes, higher morale, less absences and more productivity, which are key components to a very competitive market”

A great success story highlighted in this article is from an employee at Davidson, Kristy LeMay, who lost 70 pounds thanks to the company’s wellness programs.
The morale of the story: we don’t need a government mandate to get healthy, the return on investment for wellness programs at work speaks for itself.
Read the whole article in the Great Falls Tribune here