It’s hard to believe we are almost at February’s halfway mark. Who is still going strong with their resolutions? For those of you still going strong, CONGRATULATIONS! Keep it up.
This time of year, in the benefits arena, is a great opportunity for employers to focus on their employees. Use this time to review data and build upon the high emotions running through the offices as staff members talk about their latest diets, exercises, or quitting of bad habits.
Look at the health of your population and create a plan to conduct outreach. You have the audience right now, do not waste it!
If you are relying on the insurance carrier model to be the gatekeeper of increased population health, do not hold your breath. We live and work in a reactive health care world – one where doctors see patients for 10-15 minutes and push through as many as possible each day. A world where adherence to proper medication and appropriate levels of care are not monitored nearly enough and most importantly, those that are attempting the outreach are usually unsuccessful because the personal relationship between the employee and the physician or insurance company is not there.
What can I do about it? Why should I care?
Many work environments offer a social setting that cannot be matched by the doctor’s office or insurance companies – an environment that can be used for education, encouragement, and praise for meeting goals. Just look around. In most social circles in the workplace, you will find that people talk and are open to suggestions from their peers. People are happy to share what they are doing and why. Use this as your sounding board.
The end goal for you, the employer? A healthier population reduces absence management, increases productivity, and probably most important for the CFO, reduces the health care expense line as chronic conditions can easily cost a multiple of 4x to 8x to manage and treat.
Not sure where to start? Have a discussion with your consultant, and understand what tools and resources are available to help. Form a committee that’s dedicated to help the success of your initiatives and will serve as office champions to support a common goal.