Sep 26 2015

Leave it to the Experts: The Advantage of Outsourcing Your Wellness Program

One of the questions that often comes up early in the process of implementing a wellness program is whether or not to contract with an outside vendor. But it is difficult to be able to foresee the obstacles of choosing to run everything “in-house” because the wellness team is typically led by health enthusiasts but not by healthcare providers or wellness experts. This alone is one of the biggest reasons wellness programs fail.

Ask yourself….

  • Even though Bob from finance seems like a pretty fit and healthy guy, does that mean he is qualified to run a well-rounded wellness program?
  • Do we want the liability of running this program?              
  • How do I figure out if our ideas are compliant with the Affordable Care Act provisions? 
  • If I still have to bring in a vendor for the health screen, how will we handle follow up? Is there any accountability after the health screen? 

Having a dedicated staff of healthcare professionals means that the program will have the energy and support it needs for consistent and significant results.  We’ve seen many programs fail because it’s treated like a temporary project, killing employee engagement in its tracks.

Another obstacle that even we didn’t foresee is that of perceived privacy. Of course, we hold our client-provider (HIPAA) confidentiality very seriously. But sometimes during the course of a health screen, we learn that when screens are conducted by “corporate headquarters” (i.e. within the parent company) there is a lot of concern about privacy (“Does my boss get to see my health information?”). That uneasiness invariably leads to poor participation. We have found that since we are an outside company of healthcare providers, employees are more comfortable with us, especially after we have the opportunity to explain to them that we keep the individual results confidential

We still encourage you to organize a wellness team, and there are a few instances where we work with wellness employees who are employed by our clients. This helps us have ambassadors on the ground when we start, allowing us to incorporate into the culture and goals of your organization more quickly. But just like trying to undertake any big project, cutting costs in the beginning by skipping outside expert help usually ends up costing more in the long run. We are a multi-disciplinary team of health experts; let us help navigate the wellness program provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and use our experience in behavior-based health coaching to make sure that your wellness program puts your organization on the path to a healthier, happier workforce.
Sandy Greeson

Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Essential Functions Evaluator, & Certifed Clinical Instructor