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Recommitment to Employee Health and Wellness

The Consumer Goods Forum, representing 400 Consumer Goods and Retail organizations and over EUR 2.5 trillion in sales, 
recommitted themselves to employee and consumer health and wellness for the present and well into the future. This organization is particularly interesting because it represents many of the manufacturers who put food on our plates and retailers who we buy those goods from. With this particular trade organization's committment to both employee health and wellness
and end-consumer health and wellness, the influence could be monumental.
In two short years, by 2016, the Forum has pledged to not only implement employee health and wellness programs for all member companies, but make policies on nutrition and product formulation public as well. This forum represents some of the largest players in all facets of the consumer goods sector. If their employees are on health and wellness programs that encourage exercise, healthy eating and risk assessments to help combat preventable health conditions like obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, there is potential for global impact. Members of the Consumer Goods Forum directly employ 10 million people in 70 different countries. As an extremely influential organization who affects not only their employees, but their seemingly limitless end-customer base, this recommitment to health and wellness could help create a culture of health and wellness worldwide. Does your organization have a 2-year plan to get your employees either on, or recommitted to health and wellness? What do you think about the feasibility of the Forum’s statement? Leave us a note in the comments.

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Walk-In Health Care Clinics, like CVS/pharmacy's MinuteClinic, on the Rise

It's no secret, people get sick and when battling a painful sore throat or ear infection waiting is NOT an option. Hence the growing popularity of walk-in health care clinics. CVS/pharmacy, the largest retail clinic operator in the Washington area, has more than 800 clinics nationwide, with plans to add more that 150 additional clinics by the end of 2014.
So what's the driving force? Several factors come into play fueling the trend of these walk-in health care clinics, one of which is the Affordable Care Act...sound familiar, you may have heard of it? With millions now being provided insurance through Medicaid, private plans or under their parents plans until age 26, getting in to see your primary care doctor quickly will be more difficult. This, along with a number of other factors, has allowed the perfect forum for retail clinics, like MinuteClinic, to take center stage. The clinics are staffed by nursed practitioners and physicians assistants and can treat anything from pink eye to strep throat, to sinus infections and minor injuries. Gift cards are even available at all 800 MinuteClinic locations and discounts are available on volume purchases. Learn more about buying MinuteClinic gift cards and giving the gift of health
here. Read more from The Washington Post about the growing trend of health care clinics

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Employees Wellness Programs Pay for Themselves

By now you are probably familiar with the new laws that took effect as part of the Affordable Care Act earlier this summer. Employers can now offer incentives totaling 30% of total plan cost (they used to only be able to offer 20%) to employees who are healthy, taking preventative measures to stay healthy, or meeting goals to get healthier. The idea is that employers should encourage wellness (not just for the greater good of society) because it cuts down on absenteeism and the cost of health care benefits for the employer…and the benefits keep coming. A review of 72 studies in the American Journal of Health Promotion revealed these staggering figures:

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Introducing Yo-Fi Wellness – The Latest in Wellness Gifts for Employees

Yo-Fi Wellness is churning some serious waves in the sea of corporate wellness incentives! As employer healthcare costs continue to rise; innovative wellness incentives continue to offer companies of all sizes the latest in corporate wellness incentives and wellness gifts for employees. This online platform brings healthy living initiatives to employees through inspiring and instructive video programs, on any device. Offering expert yoga, fitness, nutrition and meditation video content, Yo-Fi Wellness empowers employees to live a healthier lifestyle, reducing absenteeism in the workplace and improving employee productivity. The Yo-Fi Wellness digital platform is the perfect solution to providing corporate gifts, incentives and rewards via gift cards and e-Certs.

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The Rise of Digital Health in Employee Health and Wellness

As we see a rise in the number of employee health and wellness initiatives from employers around the country, we see a unique trend growing alongside: digital health. Digital health programs help facilitate employee health and wellness programs and provide a streamlined easy delivery method for employers to carry out their health and wellness programs. With a majority of employers offering some kind wellness program, 22% of that population using some kind of gaming to leverage those initiatives, digital health companies are finding a market for their unique products. Digital health companies help streamline the tracking of employee progress, can help foster friendly competition when needed, and prominently provide a seamless way to offer rewards for the 79% of employers offering health and wellness programs who incorporate a reward or incentive into their program to motivate employees. Digital health companies also offer a variety of implementations, from mobile apps, internal dashboards only employees have access to, and stand-alone interfaces where employees can sign in and track progress. For employers, these applications bring relief and automation to track employee progress, rather than having to track each participants progress and give rewards at the appropriate time, digital health products can often automatically deliver a bonus, or an e-gift card to a healthy lifestyle retailer like 
Whole Foods Market, or 
NutriSystem. These rewards keep employees motivated and on track towards their long term health and wellness goals, which helps organizations control their healthcare costs.

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