Worksite health and wellness initiatives lower cost and strengthen communities

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Worksite health and wellness initiatives lower cost and strengthen communities

Sun, 11/11/2018 - 11:48am -- tim

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont works with local and regional stakeholders to pursue a vision of health and wellness to help lower health care costs, create healthy workplaces and in turn, healthier communities

by Kate E Harbaugh, Communications Strategist and Elena Bertrand, Health and Wellness Manager In support of this vision, this fall Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has partnered with a diverse group of employers, health care and community partners in three regions of the state – Central Vermont, Northern Vermont and Southern Vermont. The focus of this collaboration is to uncover and address health issues particular to each region, identify resources and programs available to the community at large and in the end, create healthier communities.

Why? Because healthy behaviors save money – the data tell us so

Understanding the data is just the beginning. According to James Mauro, director of analytic consulting and provider reimbursement at BCBSVT, “We are able to collect and provide the data to inform communities on the unique health issues they face. We can measure impact and provide information that helps drive programming in order to achieve healthier outcomes. We also know that over time, groups of people with multiple healthy behaviors save money.”

Self-reported health assessment data, paired with actual health care claims experience provides a wealth of information and guides health and wellness programming in many Vermont businesses. For example says Mauro, “We know an increase in physical activity results in up to $2,227 savings per person per year in health care costs. So, encouraging Vermont businesses and communities to develop health and wellness campaigns makes sense on many levels.”

Creative planning shapes the future workplace culture

A worksite health and wellness strategy goes beyond claims data, self-reporting metrics and one-off programs. Effective strategies expand to influence and effect change by engaging leadership at all levels, building a healthy culture and making the healthy choice the easy choice. Tracy Gallo, a BCBSVT health and wellness consultant states, “We look at organizations as a whole, including all aspects of their culture, even down to the physical space in which a company conducts its business. And we rely on the leadership in a company to amplify and support the changes so success is inevitable.”

Our workplaces shape our communities  

As we begin to take time to de-stress, drink more water, meditate, exercise regularly and eat healthy meals, we also begin to create a culture rooted in wellness. These behaviors not only brighten our lives and lower our overall health care costs and risk of chronic disease, but they also impart social mores and values onto our children, spouses, and friends and neighbors that improve the lives of all Vermonters. It is our goal to expand these efforts beyond the workplace and into our communities to benefit all Vermonters.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is proud to be your partner in health. BCBSVT health care coverage offerings include 24-hour telemedicine services, leading-edge pharmacy program solutions, which include medical therapy management and extensive health and wellness programming. These solutions engage and attract employees, incentivize healthy behaviors, and lower health care cost trends. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the Vermont’s only local, not-for-profit health plan operating independently under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a group of 36 independent companies. For more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont visit our website, or find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.