Wellness Program Design: 6 Smart Ways to Control Costs

Looking for ways to control your wellness program costs?

Imagine you just got out of a meeting where your C-Suite leadership laid out the budget for your corporate wellness program.

You’re probably not walking back to your office…cause coronavirus. So you leave the video conference thinking about all the costs associated with your wellness program.

And you’re crunching the numbers in your head. Maybe you’re worried you might have to drop some nice-to-haves to support your population health initiatives, without going over budget.

Or maybe you’re worried that reducing your wellness program offerings means engagement and results will also take a hit.

How do you run an effective and efficient wellness program? And what can you do to control costs?

Beware of the wellness program Streaming Service Effect

A lot of wellness programs are pieced together with a long list of vendors and providers. Every one of them has its own set of fees and pricing structure.

When you design a wellness program this way, it’s not uncommon to end up duplicating efforts, and paying more just to get all the wellness program services you want and need.

It’s the Streaming Service Effect. Think of it like paying for streaming-movie services like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu. Each offers original content, but they also overlap and share some of the same content.

  • But what if you didn’t have to piece together your wellness program like this?
  • What if there was a way to keep all the wellness program services that drive engagement, promote health, and prevent disease, AND control your costs?

If you’re looking for smart ways to run an effective and efficient wellness program on a budget, here are some things you can do.

1. Consolidate wellness program vendors

Take a hard look at all the wellness program vendors and services you’re paying for. Do some of these services overlap…meaning you’re paying more than you need to? That’s a good place to start to save some money.

But if you want to make things even easier, consolidate all your wellness program needs with ONE provider that can offer things like:

  • Event Management software to schedule events, send reminders, and communicate with participants
  • Biometric Screening services to schedule on-site or off-site services and process lab results quickly
  • Data Management services to securely store personal health information, comply with state and federal laws, and generate personal reports and analyze population health data.
  • Health Risk Assessment questionnaire based on scientific-research designed to identify health risks for participants, and provide you with population health data to choose your wellness initiatives.
  • Health Coaching tools and software to make it easier for coaches to educate and motivate participants to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce the risk for chronic disease
  • Social Tools to stay in touch with participants, increase engagement, promote health challenges, and promote healthy lifestyle habits
  • Automated Claims Analysis to eliminate the need for a data analyst to identify primary healthcare costs and wellness ROI
  • Incentive Management tools to reward participants for completing wellness activities provide fulfillment services for gift cards or wellness-related products.
  • Wearable Tech Integration to connect fitness tracking devices and apps to a wellness platform

2. Use an adaptable wellness platform

 What happens when you decide to make a major shift to your wellness program? There’s a good chance you’ll need to find a new wellness platform vendor. And that can cost time and money.

If you want to avoid that, choose a wellness platform that can grow as your wellness program design matures such as the:

  • Wellbeing Model (participation based)
  • Hybrid Model (addresses some risk along with participation-based requirements.)
  • Outcome-based Model (changes disease state, or risk level. ie:  diabetes coaching)

3. Cut ineffective wellness program services

When you’re running a wellness program, paying attention to what’s working and what’s not can make a big difference in your wellness program spend.
If a program isn’t showing measureable outcomes such as:

  • Reduced risk
  • Reduced claim-spend trends over time
  • Low-engagement…

It doesn’t make sense to keep running those programs and paying for services that aren’t getting you results. Eliminate programs that aren’t working to control costs to save money, or invest those dollars into new services that will help improve population health.

4. Eliminate duplicate wellness tools and services

Remember the Streaming Services Effect? This is where a lot of waste happens with wellness programs.
Here’s an example:

Employees see their physician for an annual check-up and biometric screening. But you also offer on-site biometric screenings. Lots of employers do this. But it basically means you’re paying for the same service twice.

Vendors often encourage employers to offer on-site biometric screenings to increase their revenue. But it isn’t necessary if your employees already get this from their doctor.

5. Use a wellness platform that can provide-real time insights

What do you want to know about your population health data? You could hire a data analyst to do the work, run queries, and generate reports.

But what if you could easily design a wellness-platform dashboard to do it yourself? You’d skip the cost and time-lag of working with an analyst. And you’ve be able to see the status of your wellness program in real-time from your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

FitLyfe 360 dashboard tools can even simplify the process of reviewing data and creating graphics, charts, and slide decks to share with your C-Suite leadership.

6. Challenge wellness vendors to demonstrate their value

Are you getting your money’s worth? When you’re evaluating every dollar spent on your wellness program, challenge your vendors to demonstrate their value.

  • What are the measureable outcomes from your vendor’s service?
  • Is there a reduction in population health risk?
  • Is there a reduction in claim-spend over the last 3 years of cohort data?
  • Can you compare vendor costs for the same services? (Some wellness vendors charge a low per-member-per-month rate, but charge much higher rates for other services like biometric screenings.)

Want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth on vendor software, tools, and services? Look at vendor pricing structures and calculate Pper Member, Per Month for all costs so you are comparing apples to apples.

Design a wellness program that gets results

If you’re trying to design an effective and affordable wellness program that gets results, take the time to evaluate all the wellness vendors you work with and services you pay for. You may be surprised by what you find, what you can consolidate, and where you can save money.

Looking for a wellness-platform provider with all the services you need in one place? Schedule a demo to learn more.