Partners’ Center for Connected Health: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Partners HealthCare Center for Connected Health's 2012 Progress Report Forward CurrentsEmployee wellness competition shown to statistically reduce weight, improve BMI and significantly greater satisfaction with weight by MGH employees

Partners’ Center for Connected Health (CCH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) at Revere partnered in a joint effort to improve employee wellness. Utilizing an activity monitor, 37 employees participated in a 6 month challenge to increase physical activity and decrease weight. Every month, employees experienced new and fresh program challenges such as the “buddy system,” “frenemies” and “top your highest score.” This wellness program measured step count, self-reported weight data, and dietary habits through surveys and activity data reports.

Employee weight and BMI decreased significantly during the six month program. On average, weight decreased by 4.56 lbs (M= 167.29, SD = 50.58) to M = 162.73, SD = 46.40); t(29) = -2.75, p = 0.010) and BMI decreased from a mean of 29.33 (SD = 8.66) to 28.52 (SD = 7.99) (t(25) = -2.52, p = 0.0186). In addition, employees reported being more satisfied with their weight at the end of the program (t(34) = 3.055, p = 0.004). There was no change in self-rated health.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Employees agreed that since joining the program they were more likely to make choices that increased their physical activity (81%), felt better about themselves (70%), were better able to reach their physical activity goals (57%), and had improved weight control (56%). Seventy-seven percent agreed that competing with other employees helped them to be more active. Ninety-one percent said they were satisfied with the program.

Among the 37 employees that participated, 32 uploaded step count data, measured using wireless activity monitors. Average daily steps deceased from 5,597 in August to 3,226 in December (t(62) = -2.941, p = 0.0046). Self-reported days of exercise per week, however, increased from 2.2 (SD = 1.85) to 3.3 (SD = 1.78) days  (t(36) = 3.037, p = 0.004). There was no change in minutes of physical activity per week or in the proportion of employees who meet CDC recommended levels of activity. There was no change in fruit, vegetables, or soda consumed.

Overall, there was a statistically significant drop in weight, BMI and a significantly greater satisfaction with weight by MGH employees who participated in this employee wellness competition.

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Capital BlueCross: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Here’s what Capital BlueCross President and CEO Gary D. St. Hilaire had to say about the strategic importance of the comprehensive wellness program available to company employees:

“Employees are our most important asset, and without question nothing is more important than their good health.  A key corporate priority is to enhance organizational and employee performance, which includes our comprehensive employee wellness program.  When employees are healthier, they are happier and more engaged in seeing the company succeed.  Living healthier is important for each of us personally and for the business.  On behalf of the entire management team, I wish all employees much success with their healthy endeavors.”

According to the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a national non-profit organization that serves as a leader in the creation of employee health management research, education, policy, strategy, and infrastructure, Capital BlueCross offers its employees one of the most comprehensive employer-based wellness programs in the nation.  The Capital BlueCross Employee Wellness Program achieved a HERO Scorecard rating of 183 out of a possible 200 points. The average rating nationwide is 93.  Capital BlueCross also recently achieved the prestigious American Heart Association Fit Friendly Award.

Likewise, the wellness incentives Capital BlueCross offers employees are among the best in the nation.  According to standards set by the Wellness Council of America, taking into consideration the many programs that qualify for incentives, the different types of incentives available (gift cards, HSA contributions, special promotions), and the dollar value of incentives available.  By participating in a variety of voluntary screenings, wellness activities and healthy community events, employees have the opportunity to earn up to $650 in incentives for their healthy endeavors.

Capital BlueCross provides employees all of the following onsite:

  • Health clinics and fairs
  • Biometric, blood pressure and skin cancer screenings
  • State-of-the-art fitness facilities
  • One-on-one fitness, nutrition, stress management, weight management, tobacco management and other classes and coaching
  • Zumba, yoga and tai chi classes
  • Lactation area
  • Care management counseling
  • etc.

The Capital BlueCross Employee Wellness Program also offers employees an array of digital coaching and activity trackers to help employees successfully achieve their healthy endeavors.

A near $50,000 (127.7%) return on investment was achieved in 2012 for company-paid flu shots, when considering the impact to medical costs and productivity.  All told, Capital BlueCross realized a $1.7 million savings based on programs offered, participation and health/disability-related cost avoidance.

Vitality: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

Vitality LogoRunning from a 16-year Habit

Vitality GroupIn the six years since he’d been in the U.S. Marine Corps, Brandon Bahlawan went off track and away from the physical fitness routine he’d known as a Marine. While he made some sporadic attempts to get back into healthy routines, they were short lived, usually lasting only a matter of months. Particularly when he was working toward an MBA degree, he made poor health decisions, did not exercise, gained weight and smoked.

When Aggreko, the company for which Brandon works as a damage claims administrator, offered the Vitality program, he didn’t immediately engage. One day, he decided that he could no longer make excuses – he had smoked enough. He would use Vitality’s online smoking cessation tools in an attempt to break his smoking habit.

Brandon participated in the smoking cessation course, conversation and calculator that lead Vitality members toward smoke-free lives. Initially, these educational tools gave Brandon the courage and motivation to take the first steps necessary to conquer smoking once and for all. In addition, he took advantage of the many interactive tools and action steps located in the virtual Vitality Library. “I can honestly say that the program offered on the Vitality website worked for me, and I know that this time it is for real.” Brandon has permanently quit smoking – for the first and last time in 16 years.NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_f

Quitting smoking also inspired Brandon to work on other aspects of his physical health. As a Marine, he always enjoyed running, so he put his running shoes back on and took to the streets. In doing so, he regained his strength and endurance, and within three months time, lost 20 pounds.

Having often dreamed of running a marathon, he decided to begin training for one. He has established a routine and remains focused on achieving his goal of completing two half marathons. Brandon believes that he will have the motivation necessary to cross the finish line of a full marathon next year.

Brandon advises his colleagues: “Set challenging but achievable goals and work toward them. Try to avoid expecting ‘instant gratification’ when working toward your goals. Let the Vitality Points you earn through the program be your ‘instant gratification.’ Keep in mind that consistency and dedication are key to achieving your goals. When you accomplish a goal, reward yourself! Then set a new goal!”

Healthways – OPM: CCA Members Employee Wellness Showcase

NEWM_2013_Supporter_Logo_fInnovative Onsite Support With Effective Communications and Incentives Help OPM Improve Well-Being and Win Awards

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a federal agency that works to recruit, train and retain government employees while upholding fair practices, policies and benefits. It’s one of a group of government agencies that Healthways began working with in 2010.

Striving for a world-class workforce, OPM committed itself to improving the health and productivity of its federal employees and creating a culture of well-being. It pursued these goals with an innovative strategy and program called WellnessWorks—developed in collabo­ration with Healthways—which aligns traditional telephonic and online well-being support with several modes of onsite engagement. This comprehensive and meaningful program is available to nearly 1,800 OPM employees in Washington, D.C.

HWAYprofessional_300x200A comprehensive team approach to driving healthy choices

Healthways provided OPM a dedicated onsite account manager, an onsite wellness special­ist, and two onsite coaches to comprise its onsite WellnessWorks team. This team encourages employees to participate in risk identification tools, including the Well-Being Assessment and Biometric Screening, and has found that their five most prevalent behavior risks include ap­pointment adherence, healthy eating, self management, weight management and exercise.

To reduce risks and improve well-being, OPM offers various options for personalized support. Eligible employees can choose from an online Well-Being Plan, health coaching for lifestyle management and disease management, general wellness promotions, and rigorous onsite programming, which includes more than 12 fitness classes, weekly education classes held by the WellnessWorks team or local experts, and onsite challenges with up-to-date results posted in their lobby.

A focused communications and incentives strategy

Healthways launched and continues to reinforce the WellnessWorks brand through a focused marketing and communications strategy that includes traditional, digital and other onsite channels. Recurring campaigns let employees know the different times of the year that the

Well-Being Assessment and Biometric Screening are offered as well as the other various resources available, including general wellness promotions that provide education and en­couragement for a range of topics like good nutrition and stress management.

Incentives are an important part of OPM’s strategy, encouraging and rewarding employee participation. OPM offers multiple incentives for almost every event, ranging from individual prizes, like a $50 visa gift card for completing the Well-Being Assessment, to raffles for items like a wellness gift basket for completing the Biometric Screening.

“Healthways is a true partner in our pursuit of improving the well-being of our employees. Their experience with behavior change and creativity in developing thoughtful, compelling marketing campaigns has enabled us to see impressive and sustained engagement rates among our population. And with Healthways assistance, we were pleased to receive Health Care Leadership Council’s inaugural Wellness Frontiers Award.”

–Jonathan Foley, Director, Planning and Policy Analysis, Office of Personnel Management

Visible results in the workplace and the community

Through the integration of multi-modal program components, robust engagement marketing support, and a continual focus on innovation, OPM’s Well-Being Index® score has increased from 62.5 to 65.7—while the national average and federal employee population’s average has declined.

In terms of participation since launch:

  • More than 40% of the population has completed the Well-Being Assessment.
  • 79% who completed a biometric screening and/or WBA had sufficient behavior risks to qualify them for coaching.
  • 39% of the population has participated in coaching. Among other areas:
  • 41% have participated in weight management
  • 38% have participated in tobacco cessation
  • 61% of all risks were either eliminated or improved in the coaching program.
  • There has been a steady increase of people attending onsite classes, especially those attending together.

Through direct, daily engagement, the WellnessWorks program is making a cultural impact, too. With additional initiatives, like creating a mini-farmer’s market in the main office courtyard, access to healthy choices not only reaches eligible OPM employees, but it also draws in employees of surrounding government buildings.

The entire program is well-supported by OPM’s leadership and has been recognized by the Health Care Leadership Council (HLC), who issued their inaugural Wellness Frontiers Award to OPM in 2013 for the agency’s innovation, improvements in population health and wellness culture.

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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

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