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How to Jumpstart Your Wellness Program

Do you want to start a wellness program at your organization but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve heard about all of the potential benefits, but don’t know if your employees will adopt the program. If so, here are a few simple tips to jumpstart your wellness program.
 

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Premium Reductions No Longer Rewarding

Premium reductions are becoming less effective when it comes to employee health and wellness programs. We recently wrote about how cash isn’t king when it comes to rewards and incentives, and the same can be said for rewarding and incenting employees for healthy behaviors.

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Investment in Employee Wellness Goes Beyond Health

A recent study, State of the Industry: Employee Well-being in 2016, from
Virgin Pulse, in partnership with Human Capital Mediasurveyed over 1,000 HR professionals across a variety of levels and industries to see how they planned to use employee wellness and health programs in 2016. Their findings go beyond the obvious answer we have seen in past years.
The survey indicated that employee wellness programs in 2016 will not simply focus on reducing healthcare costs for employers and employees. Employee wellness has expanded to include financial wellness, and more company-centric motives like employee productivity, promoting organizational culture and employee engagement. The investment in employee wellness is moving from being viewed as a cost-cutting measure and is now used more as a tool for employee engagement.
Here are the key stats from the new study:

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Employee Health Screenings: How Much Testing is Too Much?

As we enter the season of open enrollment employers are looking for ways to minimize health care costs and employees are already thinking about new years resolutions and how they can get healthy “after the holidays.” According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, half of large employers in America require employees to submit to some time of biometric screening. However, it is important for employers to consider how required employee health screenings affect their relationship with employees. So what’s the risk? Employees are all adults, and they ultimately can choose when to go to the doctor. Some go to the doctor regularly, others choose to go less often. Still others might be generally healthy but don’t check in at the doctor’s office as much as they should. So requiring biometric screening can feel invasive and create the illusion of “forcing” employees to go to the doctor, potentially against their general practice.

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Keep Hospital Readmission Rates Low Using Incentives

The care that a patient receives directly after leaving the hospital is critical to keeping hospital readmission rates low. It is estimated that nearly 20% of patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being discharged and about 75% of those readmissions are preventable. There are various factors as to why hospital readmission occur. Most often patients are not seeing their Primary Care Physician while they are in the hospital and their PCP is only receiving a summary of treatment instead of a complete diagnosis with follow-up care recommendations. Low-income readmissions can potentially lose hospitals money with the odds being higher that another hospital bill will go unpaid. In 2015, The Affordable Care Act has mandated a financial penalty of up to 3% for institutions that have not complied with standards for reducing readmission rates. Incentives can play a huge role in reducing readmission rates. They allow you to reward patients for taking small steps that make a big difference between a healthy recovery and another trip to the ER, whether it be following up with their Primary Care Physicians or adhering to their prescription medication. Download our free white paper Reducing Readmission Rates through Incentives and Education to learn more on how to use incentives to reduce that 20% readmissions rate. Learn more about:

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