In order to fully understand what makes a successful wellness and disease management program, you need to go straight to the audience that evaluates them every single day. That's why we asked over 100 human resources professionals what they look for in their health benefit programs and what they hope to accomplish and see in health benefits offerings in the next year. These were the top 10 takeaways:
1. The top three challenges HR professionals faced in 2017 were 1) Rising health care costs; 2) Employee acquisition and retention; and 3) Employee turnover.
2. The top three goals for HR teams for 2018 are 1) Increasing employee engagement; 2) Reducing healthcare costs; and 3) Better management of employees’ chronic conditions.
3.Two-thirds of employers said bland wellness content was the main health benefit trend they were most tired of seeing.
4.Over 62 percent of HR teams wish their health plan knew how to better integrate different program components and vendors.
5. The highest priority disease states for employers are 1) Obesity; 2) Heart failure and/or hypertension; and 3) Diabetes.
6. Despite interest in disease management programs, 32 percent of HR professionals cited cost as a barrier to implementing one.
7. The number of companies with disease management programs will increase by 47 percent in 2018 while the number of companies with wellness programs will increase by only 27 percent.
8. When asked what their main health benefit goals of 2018 are, 71 percent of HR teams said they want to increase employee engagement while 66 percent said they want to reduce health care costs.
9. Beyond activity tracking, employers want to help employees track 1) Diet and nutrition; 2) Weight; 3) Blood pressure; and 4) Sleep.
10. Nearly one quarter of employers said employee health incentives will be based on outcomes, rather than just participation, in 2018.