Healthcare News & Insights

Employee wellness plans pay off for health care companies

Physician (and other health care pros) heal thyself. And get your employer to help pay for it.

More health care organizations are practicing what they preach and offering extensive wellness plans to employees. They pay off in hard dollars — and other, harder to quantify benefits as well.

Take the example of Sentara Healthcare, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Two years ago, the company offered a wellness program to employees — primarily to avoid raising employees’ health care premiums or co-pays.

Since the program stared, the company has saved approximately $3.4 million in health care costs — far more than the cost of the program. For every dollar spent on employee wellness, Sentara saved $6.

Employees benefited in big ways too. Participants have seen significant improvements in vital areas such as their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body mass index measurements. Many are also exercising more (or for the first time) and/or have stopped smoking due to the program.

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