Employers want more timely access to reporting and more transparency from their wellness vendors, according to a recent survey of 430 employers conducted by OptumHealth.
More than half (55%) say it takes too long to get information from their wellness vendor, while 53% say it’s difficult to trust current claims, productivity savings estimates and return-on-investment calculations. In addition, 74% say vendors need to demonstrate how health and wellness programs affect costs rather than just measuring program engagement.
Almost half indicate they receive infrequent reporting on medical cost savings and productivity improvement.
“The survey really showed that, regardless of the size of the employer or how long they’ve had these programs in place or how much experience they have with these programs, they’re tired of waiting months for these reports to come out,” says Dave Czerwinski, senior director, enterprise value solutions, OptumHealth. “Real clear, transparent reporting is going to be key for the industry going forward.”
Typically, most reporting is done by looking at insurance claims and “you need to let anywhere from nine to 18 months of claims processing to occur before you can show the measured value,” says Jess Lewis, vice president and general manager, health management solutions, with OptumHealth. “A lot of what we’re hearing is ‘can you give us some indication as to the performance on this in a much more timely fashion?’”
The majority of employers plan to increase (40%) or maintain (53%) their current investment in health and wellness programs. Only 7% said they plan to reduce their current investment in these programs.
“The survey underscored that employers believe these health and wellness programs are a smart investment and that they’re key to maximizing productivity for employees,” says Czerwinski.
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