Do Wellness Programs Work? Interview with Corporate Health Partners’ Jeremy Curtis
With the changing healthcare landscape, employers are looking for new ways to cut healthcare costs. Some may choose wellness programs. Today, we’re profiling a wellness company here in Nashville, Corporate Health Partners.
We interviewed Jeremy Curtis, the VP of CHP, to tell us more about how wellness programs can help save employers on health insurance costs.
Tell us a little about your company?
I really shouldn’t have a job. What I mean is our business shouldn’t need to exist, because individuals should be healthy on their own. However, this isn’t the case. At CHP, we take wellness programs to the next level in offering health management solutions.
How does the ACA play a role in what you do?
The Affordable Care Act says that employers can charge high-risk employees up to 30% more than their low-risk coworkers. This aspect of the law means that an employer can penalize employees who make poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking.
Corporate Health Partners will come on-site and do a biometric screening for each employee to help determine who is high-risk. It is up to the employer what to do with this data, but typically high-risk employees are motivated to change unhealthy habits when facing an increase in health insurance costs.
Why does employee wellness matter?
Employers spend an average of $10,000 a year on each employee, which is most of health insurance costs. A healthy employee is a more productive employee, their morale is better; they miss less work, and they are better to be around. Obesity is a huge issue. With so much of the population struggling with obesity, what employers often don’t realize is that when one of those employees gets diabetes, this will cost the company about $60,000 per year. Employers have a huge incentive to keep employees healthy.
Jeremy went on to say that 40% of their clients across 50 states are considered “high-risk”. If you’ve ever worked for a company with a wellness program, you probably know that the people most likely to take advantage are those who don’t necessarily need the free marathon sign-up or healthy lunch options. This reason is why employers argue that wellness programs are not beneficial. But all employers agree that something must be done about rising healthcare costs. Let’s look at Corporate Health Partners strategy for reducing healthcare costs.
So how does Corporate Health Partners help?
There are two pieces to what we do–the assessment piece and the intervention piece. Employees and employers both need to know where they stand today and the knowledge that 75% of it is choices within your control. A big piece of what we do is changing a company’s culture. Part of that is making sure only healthy options are brought in for catered lunches and giving employees time for walking or exercise during lunch.
Corporate Health Partners customizes wellness programs to meet your company’s immediate needs and grow with you for long term health management. The ROOTS program provides comprehensive management and coaching. They also tailor à la carte program options or provide initial, strategic wellness planning at an affordable fee to lay groundwork for wellness initiatives. And our ExecuTrack meets the unique health needs of executive staff. Everything we do makes companies measurably healthier one employee at a time.
We have 85% participation in our programs. What many don’t realize is what a difference just dropping one bad habit and picking up a good one will do for their health. Most don’t even know where to start.
Not all wellness programs are effective, but there’s no doubt that the right wellness strategy will reduce healthcare costs. Many thanks to Jeremy Curtis for taking time to tell us more about Corporate Health Partners.
Do you work for a company that has a wellness program in place? What is your experience?
Are you an employer? Do you currently have a wellness program in place? Tell us about it!