Top Factors Your Should Consider For Evaluating Wellness Program Vendor
There are five questions you need to ask to hold your health and wellness vendors accountable.
Perhaps the only thing more complicated than choosing a vendor is making sure the vendor you choose is held accountable. As many companies enlist brokers to help them filter vendors, it’s ultimately the broker who needs to be responsible for the vendors they recommend as well as their impact on plan design and the company’s bottom line.
The overwhelming majority of RFI’s I’ve reviewed over the years fall into one of two categories: those narrowly focused on specific service features or s or on product components versus RFIs that are more strategic, and forward-looking, focusing on health outcomes, enabling technologies and good plan design.
To this end, I’ve outlined the top five performance criteria items that should be considered in evaluating vendors during engagement. They are as follows:
- Security: There are several critical security standards that vendors must follow, including HITRUST, SOC 2, PCI, ISO 27001, etc. If certification is not available then evidence of policies, enforcements, and third party security scanning should be made available upon request. A physician form should only be sent through secure channels such as FitDoc.
- Data Quality: By this we mean accuracy, completeness, validity, integrity, and duplication. This criteria should be enforced at the member registration, operation, reports and billing phases. Vendors should deploy a reliable method to validate member registration in the corporate health and wellness programs, and cross reference it with a valid data source for eligibility.
- Privacy: Members should know who can see their data, where the data is going and how it’s being used. Additionally, they should be able to opt out from certain items. Also, it is essential to ensure that vendors are HIPAA compliant and have the ability to notify the affected parties when a violation occurs.
- Program effectiveness: The outset of every engagement, the vendor and customer must establish mutually agreed upon criteria for program effectiveness (participating levels, health outcome change, sustained engagement, medical spend, etc.). It is a collaborative approach leading to a successful engagement. Once this criteria is set, the automation and analysis of the data must be in place. Ideally, the analysis is conducted by a neutral platform that generates objective effectiveness data – rather than relying on vendors who have an interest in reporting certain results.
- Technology: To determine the performance of the actual corporate wellness technology, the following should be considered: Implementation, member and manager satisfaction, system uptime, scalability, security, and quality. Other considerations ought to include the speed at which data is moved within the system and the efficiency/accuracy of the automation.
Monitoring this performance criteria is a challenge. Corporate wellness has many moving parts involving any number of ongoing initiatives driven by various vendor solutions. Implementing initiatives and/or programs shouldn’t be based on marketing materials, not matter how detailed. We take a different approach at FitLyfe. Our analytics engine allows you to objectively score vendors and keep them honest; our automation platform gives you the flexibility to swap underperforming vendors with others that meet this evaluation criteria.
Our goal in working with consultants is to give you maximum transparency and flexibility in vendor selection – as we believe this best serves and supports your mission and work, and enables you to build trust with clients. Platform technology and vendor integrity are critical to strategy execution. Top brokers provide – at a minimum – expertise in vendor selection. From a consultant or administrative standpoint, the FitLyfe platform can be viewed as an automated vendor decision platform allowing you to make informed, data-driven choices based on the single most important metric to your clients; demonstrable outcomes. Moreover, we hold ourselves to the same standards we are encouraging you to hold your vendors: the member-facing modules we’ve built into the platform are all subject to the same performance metrics. Equipped with the ability to continuously refine and improve health and wellness delivery gives brokers a significant advantage in today’s competitive, difficult to navigate health and wellness marketplace.
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