As health-care costs continue to rise and chronic health conditions related to lifestyle become more prevalent, employers are looking with increased frequency to programs that will engage and empower their employees to manage and improve their own health, and thereby positively affect the company’s bottom line.
One such program is Wellvibe.
Developed in 2008 by David Homan, vice president of marketing and innovation for McGohan Brabender, a local employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm, Wellvibe is a software-based employee engagement tool. By guiding employees to a better understanding of their own health and health-care coverage, companies can better control their health-care costs and individuals can lead longer and healthier lives.
“Our clients looking to control their costs by creating healthier populations have always struggled with communication of wellness, tracking compliance and delivering incentives,” said Mike Suttman, president of McGohan Brabender. “The Wellvibe system allows them to easily do those things and more, including creating personalized measurements and activities while adhering to all privacy requirements. Currently over 60,000 people are utilizing the Wellvibe technology in one form or another.”
Homan says that Wellvibe originally started as an activity tracking system. Employers were seeking a solution to complicated spreadsheets and cutting the amount of administrative time, all while maintaining compliance with HIPPA (health information privacy regulations). Today, in addition to reducing the administrative time and remaining HIPPA compliant, Wellvibe has evolved into a more member/end-user focused program, even expanding to engage the spouses of employees.
“Our approach is that we look at where a person’s health story is today and create a personalized roadmap toward improvement of their health,” said Homan. “By going through Wellvibe, over a 10-week period, we have a 70 percent success rate in reversing metabolic risk (waist size, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, blood pressure). Wellvibe has truly been life-changing for the people who have used the system.”
How it works
Unlike wellness programs of the past that provided a standard, “cookie cutter” list of activities to do, that didn’t take into account a person’s age or current health/fitness status, Wellvibe is more of an overall health management system.
Depending on the call to action and/or the message a company is trying to drive home, Wellvibe works in a variety of ways — video, decision tree, interactive quiz, etc. — to deliver an experience that matches the needs of the organization and its employees.
For the employee and their spouse, by simply logging into Wellvibe, the program recognizes them based on their unique information. From there, a personalized interface is generated providing clear direction and tracking of their progress toward a point goal.
For the employer and human resource administrators, Wellvibe provides an easy-to-use site to run reports, make edits and much more, all while maintaining HIPPA compliance. “Our technology helps employers stratify the risk within their population,” said Suttman. “Wellvibe can identify persons who are seven times more likely to have a claim over $10,000. Even more importantly Wellvibe can unlock a program to reverse that risk in 45 percent of their population.”
Although reducing healthcare costs for corporate America is extremely important, at the end of the day, Wellvibe is just as much about delivering healthier moms and dads home to their families.
As a company, McGohan Brabender believes in practicing what they preach and has experienced the positive effects of using the Wellvibe program. “Our efforts to create a healthier population and our Empowering Healthier Living initiative have resulted in some amazing results,” said Suttman. “We identified 15 people whose numbers showed them to be seven times more likely for a large claim and now we have only three. People participating in the program lost an average of 16 pounds, experienced a reduction of lifestyle medications by 27 percent, reduction of high blood pressure by 65 percent, reduction of high blood sugar by 54 percent, 58 percent improvement in HDL cholesterol and a host of others.”
For more information about the Wellvibe program, go online to www.wellvibe.com.