Your employees, their health - How enhancing wellness programs with mobile is the next step

In the past ten years, employers share of health expenses has increased by almost 150%.  And, as we start to see companies assuming full risk for their employee population, they are looking for ways to control and manage their healthcare spending rather than passing these annual increases onto employees through higher co-pays and deductibles.  Focusing on engaging employees in their own health through wellness programs has been proven to help lower insurance costs to employers.  One of our clients, Atlanticare has made employee wellness a priority and created a comprehensive program focusing on campaigns and initiatives for their 6,000 employees.  By completing various activities throughout the year, employees can earn up to $2,000 in out-of-pocket savings.

As part of Atlanticare's program, three times a year they have a wellness activity where participants are tasked with completing a month-long fitness challenge.  To successfully complete this challenge and receive a $100 credit towards their deductible, participants are required to log 30 minutes of activity for at least five days a week over the course of a month.  To date, this information had to be manually logged on their PC, reporting how much and what kind of activity they had completed.  And, while this program consistently receives high participation and positive feedback, there was one request they were starting to hear again and again:  Could you find a way to eliminate the constant need for manual entry?

With this feedback in mind, they approached us to see if we could provide them with an elegant solution utilizing the Atlanticare app to help eliminate the need for manual reporting.  Our app connects with various, popular activity trackers including Fitbit, Runkeeper, Nike Fuel, etc. and can easily be synced to pull in all data a user tracks through these third party apps and wearables.  Working with Atlanticare, we focused on creating a fun and easy-to-use system to allow participants to opt-in and track their activity for the challenge via the mobile app.  Our integration with Atlanticare allows data to automatically push out to a users account on the Atlanticare portal, eliminating the need to log in and manually report their data as the activity they are tracking through the app is sent over on the back end to Atlanticare systems.  As an added benefit, this integration also provides a more accurate picture of their total activity for the month while lending to a much less cumbersome and time consuming experience.

Our pilot program ran through the month of September and upon completion, survey results were incredibly positive.  Over 90% of those participating in the pilot found tracking their activity with an app more helpful in the completion of the challenge versus manual entry.  Also, 63% noticed an increase in their physical activity as a result.  The app proved to be a great compliment to their wellness initiatives and a permanent solution in future challenges.  And, as employee wellness programs continue to become a resource employers utilize to lower costs and engage employees in their health, incorporating fun and interactive technologies to enhance these programs has been proven to increase participation, satisfaction and even activity level.