Healthways: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_fIncentive Structure Drives Unprecedented Wellness Program Participation in a Large Metropolitan Area 

Rapidly increasing health risks in a large metropolitan area call for action.

The declining health of city workers in a large U.S. metropolitan population was resulting in one-half billion dollars per year in the city’s healthcare costs. To reduce its rapidly increasing health risks—including a high rate of obesity, tobacco use, and unhealthy habits associated with nutrition—the city partnered with Healthways to provide a new, comprehensive wellness program that focused on non-participation penalties.

Healthways launches a comprehensive wellness program.

In 2012, Healthways launched a compressive wellness program supporting more than 80,000 city employees and eligible lives representing a wide array of positions across the city, including more than 30 unions and five agencies. While all program participants are located in the vicinity of the city, the city itself is geographically large and complex with several hundred sites and a significant number of individuals at each site.BLD079536

The program is comprised of the Healthways Well-Being Assessment®, biometric screenings, the Well-Being Connect® online behavior change portal (complete with a personalized Well- Being Plan), the QuitNet® tobacco cessation program, and a staff of onsite and telephonic health coaches who conduct health education as well as fitness sessions at specific locations. The majority of coaches are available for telephonic interactions six days per week during afternoon and evening hours. Healthways collaborated with the city’s health plan vendor to include referrals to other available programs as well.

Wellness Program Eligibility and Participation

80,000 eligible city employees and spouses/domestic partners
Incurring $500 million/ year in healthcare costs for the city
87% took a biometric screening
84% completed the Well-Being Assessment
High participation in other program components to maintain incentive eligibility

Strategic incentive and engagement strategies set the program up for success.

To be both attractive to and approachable by a broad population, Healthways and the city worked closely together to develop and execute effective incentive and engagement strate­gies, which held the support of the mayor and key stakeholders, including labor unions.

The strategy includes the following key elements:

  • A distinctively branded identity, including a name and logo, that establishes the program as a citywide initiative that will save taxpayers money and create and a more livable community
  • A compelling incentive structure which assesses a monthly fee to eligible participants who do not enroll or who do not maintain eligibility requirements, such as completing a promise and assessments, and maintaining ongoing eligibility through coaching, onsite activities, and/or active use of Well-Being Connect. The fee can double if neither the employee nor spouse participates.
  • Numerous town-hall meetings with labor unions and more than 200 benefit liaisons (middle management in various departments) who were charged with getting the word out to the city’s eligible population
  • A streamlined online registration process initially focused on three easy steps to enrollment
  • Training materials to assist benefit liaisons with outreach

Program launches with unprecedented participation.

With a strong emphasis of the city’s cost-saving and community-building initiatives, coupled with a strong buy-in from key stakeholders, the multi-phase program launched with unprec­edented participation:

  • 87% participation in the biometric screening—the first phase of the program
  • 84% participation in the Well-Being Assessment—the second phase of the program

Engage with Healthways in Social Media

Twitter: @Healthways



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