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The One Question To Ask A Prospective Wellness Provider

An increasingly large cadre of self-proclaimed new wellness “gurus” claim to be really good at providing wellness programs.  Have you noticed that in the past several years, established health providers of all kinds are adding departments devoted to wellness?  Traditional companies that have focused on health insurance for decades all of a sudden claim to be wellness experts.  Health systems skilled in treating disease somehow become instant experts in prevention. So how do you navigate all these potential partners if you really do need some help implementing an effective wellness program?

Many people ask me if I can recommend a company that understands wellness or to help them evaluate organizations that claim to be skilled.  My answer to the challenge of finding good people is simple:  Ask the prospective provider to show to its wellness presence.

Ask about such things as results, participation, return on investment, awards, recognition, news coverage, integration with existing benefits, and the structure of their own employee wellness program.  Make it an open-ended question and ask to speak to their clients.  If a provider is worthy of taking your money to advise you, then their outcomes should be readily available.   If a provider can’t show results beyond marketing materials then they’re going to come up short for clients as well.

All of a sudden many of these self-styled experts won’t say much.  This vetting tool eliminates 95 percent of agencies who just plain stink at understanding wellness.

About Scott Foster and Wellco
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan.  Wellco fixes health and wellness programs for organizations that want to measurably improve health costs and conditions.   Wellco specializes in wellness ROI and appraisal systems, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting.  For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.

Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven corporate wellness ROI strategies and market intelligence. Subscribe and receive a free gift at www.wellcocorp.com. Copyright (c) by Wellco Corporation.

 

CDC Awards $9M in Wellness Grants

About 100 employers across the nation will be provided with comprehensive wellness programs, as a result of $9 million  in grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The grant is designed to boost health conditions and combat the associated costs to businesses.

Companies of various sizes across 7 national regions will be provided with 2-years of support from a national firm to develop or expand their workplace health programs.  Worksites will be selected based upon leadership support, baseline data, and willingness to collaborate with other participating awardees in the region. Organizations with more than 500 full-time employees will need to provide $50,000 in matching funds for consideration.

The programs will be facilitated by Viridian Health Management and evaluated for effectiveness by North Carolina’s Research Triangle Institute.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) features wellness prominently and uses the word wellness 86 times.  The most pertinent wellness issues are in the Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health Section (Title IV).  Soon, section 10408 will provide $200M for small businesses to provide comprehensive wellness programs.  The fund appropriation and application protocols are currently being finalized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  You will soon need to submit an application along with an agreement to implement programs “based on and consistent with evidence-based research.”

Wellco recently completed facilitation of 10 pilot programs as precursors to the National Prevention Strategy.

Here is what you need to know to jumpstart your opportunity:

1. Get ready – You will be required to submit a proposal for a comprehensive wellness program that meets guidelines according to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, National Registry for Effective Programs and the Guide to Community Preventive Services.  Develop your plan now.

2. Get Set – The grant program is only for companies who do not have an existing wellness program. Do not launch your program until your plan is developed and you are caught up with the grant and application criteria.

3. Get connected – The guidelines and processes sound complicated, but they don’t have to be. Contact a high-level wellness expert for plan guidance, for application assistance and for timing updates to be among the first in line for funding. Wellco has been assisting with and receiving wellness grants for more than 15 years. Contact us if we can help.

About Scott Foster and Wellco
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan.  Wellco fixes wellness and health programs for organizations that want to measurably improve health costs and conditions. Wellco specializes in wellness ROI and appraisal systems, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting. For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.

Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven corporate wellness ROI strategies and market intelligence. Subscribe and receive a free gift at www.wellcocorp.com. Copyright (c) by Wellco Corporation.

It Takes 2,000 Employees to Find a Healthy One?

Only 1 out of nearly 2,000 people assessed could claim ideal heart health, according to a recent study published in Circulation. Of 1,933 American adults who participated in a risk evaluation study, only 1 satisfied the American Heart Association’s guidelines for good heart health. The study examined physician examinations, blood test measurements and survey questions to report health status based upon cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle habits. The following seven criteria were scored; cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, smoking, physical activity, body mass index and eating habits.

Only 1 person passed all seven measures and less than 10 percent passed at least five criteria. The research concluded that good heart health scores are the exception, rather than the rule and health improvement represents both a tremendous challenge and opportunity.

The annual cost of heart disease in the United States is estimated at $475.3 billion, according to the American Heart Association.  Many experts believe heart disease could be nearly completely eliminated with appropriate wellness and prevention.

The study was performed by physicians and researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute and published in Circulation, a medical journal published by the American Heart Association.

About Scott Foster and Wellco
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan. Wellco works with organizations that want to measurably improve health costs and conditions. Wellco specializes in health ROI systems, health risk appraisals, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting. Wellco the developer of the award-winning HealthHammer (TM), the first and only Zero Trend Appraisal (R) system to help companies accurately benchmark and fully achieve flat health costs over time. For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.

Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven corporate wellness ROI strategies and market intelligence. Subscribe and receive a free gift at www.wellcocorp.com. Copyright (c) by Wellco Corporation.

 

Small Business Wellness Grant Update

Although the majority of large companies provide employee wellness programs, few small businesses do. Despite employing 70% of US employees, small businesses have less reason to offer wellness, largely because health insurance carriers do not reduce premiums for achieved savings like they do with bigger companies. Health reform provides a financial motivation to help small businesses catch up through wellness grants.

Beginning in 2011, section 10408 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will provide $200M for small businesses to provide comprehensive wellness programs. Businesses must have less than 100 employees working at least 25 hours per week and must not have a current wellness program.

You will soon need to submit an application along with an agreement to implement programs “based on and consistent with evidence-based research.”

The fund appropriation and application protocols are currently being finalized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Here is what you need to know to jumpstart your opportunity:

1. Get ready – You will be required to submit a proposal for a comprehensive wellness program that meets guidelines according to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, National Registry for Effective Programs and the Guide to Community Preventive Services. Develop your plan now.

2. Get Set – The grant program is only for companies who do not have an existing wellness program. Do not launch your program until you are caught up with the grant and application criteria.

3. Get connected – The guidelines and processes sound complicated, but they don’t have to be. Contact a high-level wellness expert for plan guidance, for application assistance and for timing updates to be among the first in line for funding. Wellco has been assisting with and receiving wellness grants for about 15 years. Contact us if we can help.

About Scott Foster and Wellco

Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan. Wellco works with organizations who want to measurably improve health costs and conditions. Wellco specializes in health ROI systems, health risk appraisals, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting. Wellco the developer of the award-winning HealthHammer (TM), the first and only Zero Trend Appraisal (R) system to help companies accurately benchmark and fully achieve flat health costs over time. For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.

Permission to Reprint

You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven corporate wellness ROI strategies and market intelligence. Subscribe and receive a free gift at www.wellcocorp.com. Copyright (c) by Wellco Corporation.

1.  Grant Eligibility – Employers will be eligible if they have less than 100 employees working at least 25 weekly hours and if they do not have a current wellness program.  The funds will be used for comprehensive programs and must follow “evidenced-based” guidelines and best practices to be determined by the Secretary of Helath and Human Services. 

2.  Criteria for “evidenced-based” or and “comprehensive” guidelines – See attached.  We can greatly simplify the client process and plan.

3.  Health & Wellness ROI Seminars – You may want to schedule a seminar to your prospects and clients to help distinguish your agency.  You can learn about Wellco’s game-changing seminars by following this link,
www.WellnessSpeaker.com

A practical overview of health reform and wellness.

The historic yet overwhelmingly complex Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will strongly affect all aspects of medical care delivery, for better and worse.  The 907-page mega law features wellness prominently and uses the word wellness 86 times.  The most pertinent wellness issues are in the Prevention of Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health Section (Title IV).

Key Wellness Provisions
-Provide small business grants to help pay for a wellness program.
-Allow premium discounts of 30-50% based upon wellness engagement.
-Launch a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.
-Research and evaluate best practices and ROI.

Benefits
-Communities will benefit from a major healthy lifestyle campaign with $500M of national funding with high visibility.
-Employers don’t want to be trailblazers and need to know what works best.  Funding to support research and evaluation will highlight the most effective health and wellness strategies.
-Requiring health plans to cover the most effective preventive services at no additional cost will address health conditions before they become more dangerous and costly.
-Small businesses will be among those who benefit most.  Small organizations will finally have a financial incentive for wellness through $200M in wellness grants for employers with 100 employees or less who work 25 or more hours weekly.
-Employees who are actively engaged in prevention and wellness will have lower medical costs.  Employees who can improve will be provided with incentives to join a program and improve their health.  Premium differentials allowing a 30% discount for employees who are engaged in wellness will incentivize employees in health care decision-making and lower premiums for employers who provide strong wellness programs.  Health and Human Services has the authority to increase this amount to 50% based upon the impact on reducing medical costs.
-Polices cannot be cancelled because a person gets sick and people with pre-existing medical conditions can buy health insurance without higher premiums.

The Bottom Line
The right wellness program improves health conditions
and costs.  The best results are achieved by partnering with an established wellness firm and working together with your leadership, health plan and health system. Government reform will provide increased awareness and funding.  Although reform may change or improve, it will not be repealed.  Businesses will do well to learn about the provisions that are launching and to leverage the prevention and wellness opportunities within the bill.

About Scott Foster and Wellco
Scott Foster is President of Wellco, based in Michigan.  Wellco works with organizations who want to measurably improve health costs and conditions.   Wellco specializes in health ROI systems, health risk appraisals, corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting.  Wellco the developer of the award-winning HealthHammer (TM), the first and only Zero Trend Appraisal (R) system to help companies accurately benchmark and fully achieve flat health costs over time.  For more information, visit www.wellcocorp.com or call 248-549-4247.

You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven corporate health and wellness ROI strategies and market intelligence. Subscribe and receive a free gift at www.wellcocorp.com.   Copyright (c)  by Wellco Corporation.

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"Wellco provides measurable outcomes that are critical to focus employee health efforts."

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"Your programs are dynamite!"

David Bond, Senior Partner, Wiklund & Bond Financial Services

"There's no more using work as an excuse to avoid the doctor."

The Detroit News

"Meet the leaders."

Detroit Free Press

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