UCLA Reveals Mental Health Improvements with Wellness

Even the best designed wellness programs face the challenge in answering the simple question: is it working? Ostensibly, the response to this question would be framed in terms of employee health improvements. “Yes, our programs are working, our employees are losing weight, they are engaged in the programs, and they are more productive,” might be the answer from a manager. However, under the intensified scrutiny of a company executive, the response may be, “show me.” Executives want data to justify their investments. Improvements in biometrics and HRAs are one way to demonstrate data-based health improvements. Ultimately, executives would like to make the business case that investment in wellness initiatives lead to reduced healthcare spend and an improved bottom line. The thinking is simple: effective wellness programs improve behaviors, which improve health, which reduce spend (in medical and Rx claims). Except even the most effective wellness programs may struggle in making the ROI case as the reductions in spend may not be realized until years later. This difficulty is reflected by increasing skepticism over the years on whether wellness programs are “working,” whether they’re worth the investment.

Read more