Barring the impact that a recent court decision may have regarding the use of financial incentives related to health inquiries and biometric screenings, organizations and more importantly, their employees, are well-poised to start to reap the rewards that can come from thoughtfully designed wellness and incentive programs.
As the former president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Toby Cosgrove, shared in a recent interview, “The private sector has a lot of things it can do, just like we did, to improve the health of their employees and demanding responsiveness from the healthcare delivery system.”
Critics and researchers alike will frequently analyze or refer to one ingredient of a wellness program and find plenty of examples where results fell short of expectations. This is where Cosgrove makes another compelling point: “I think things probably worked in combination. I don’t think you can say there is one thing that really worked but the combination of things over time did work.” Each wellness program component is an incredibly powerful ingredient to a successful strategy—we just have to resist the desire to evaluate them independent of the other elements.
The Clinic regularly shares that incentives large enough to capture people’s attention, combined with meaningful goals and resources that help them achieve the goals, is a winning recipe.
Bravo has many clients who walked a similar path. They started with just the goals and incentives suggested in the 2006 HIPAA regulations. Then over time began to include reasonable improvement goals, positive and nurturing communications, support tools, and a culture that makes healthy decisions the easier decision. Like the fuel in a luxury automobile, incentives make great programs run. A great car with no fuel is just frustrating. Likewise, 100 gallons of fuel with no vehicle to put it in is worthless.
I appreciate the Cleveland Clinic’s tenacity in pioneering a winning recipe for great results.
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