Many successful companies today are starting to implement employee health and wellbeing in their strategic plan. The benefit of company wellbeing programs includes both tangible and intangible measures. For the CFO looking at the bottom line, there are some aspects of a wellbeing program that can be quantified into an actual return on investment (ROI). These include savings on medical and disability claims, decreased employee turnover, and a decrease in employee absenteeism, for example.
At the same time, much of the benefits from a workplace wellbeing programs will fall outside of an easy to quantify category. These are benefits that are difficult to measure in dollars but still have been shown to contribute to financial gains for companies that implement quality wellbeing initiatives. These benefits include reduced health risks, improved company morale, and increased productivity during work hours.
We present a case study where we measure both the tangible ROI from an investment program as well as ways to measure the intangible benefits of the program.
A manufacturing Client came to Continuwell in hopes of simplifying their employees’ wellbeing experience and improving communication about the resources available in the company. This company has about 350 employees spread across four states. Tim, the HR director for the Client, worked with the Continuwell team to select the most important company resources to be included in the mobile solution to be given to employees. He then held meetings with employees to explain the features of the Continuwell mobile application customized for their Company, and he also encouraged the employees and their spouses to call the free 24/7 health ambassador line should any medical symptom arise. The employees and their spouses especially liked the independence aspect of the health ambassadors, where none of the information discussed is disclosed to the insurance company or the employer.
Once the Client launched Continuwell, the HR director noticed an instant increase in productivity and was pleased with how simple it was to send segmented messages to employees with reminders. The director was also surprised that not only his employees and staff were excited about the ease of access to Company resources, but that also he received phone calls from his staff’s spouses thanking him for implementing Continuwell.
Next, the HR director went to the Continuwell administrator panel to review the usage of the new mobile application and look at reports on the aggregate usage of the resources in the mobile app. Table 1 shows a sample dashboard for the Client.
Furthermore, after analyzing the data from the Continuwell app’s usage by employees in the first four months of 2018, the HR director was able to directly correlate a decrease in healthcare spending to employees contacting their Health Ambassadors and having easy access to their company’s wellbeing resources. This is because factors such as unhealthy behaviors, health risks, and chronic disease all contribute to a company’s healthcare costs. Yet, when resources are easily available for employees they are able to reduce these risks.
The following is an analysis of the Continuwell app utilization of the Nurse Health Ambassadors service from January 1, 2018 until April 30, 2018. We examine the outcomes of the calls from the employees with health concerns and their outcomes, including the savings from employees avoiding unnecessary ER visit.
The data portal in the Continuwell administrative dashboard allows managers to analyze their employees’ usage of the resources in their customized app. Additionally, our internal nurse software allows our Health Ambassadors to view the wellbeing and health options the caller has available through their company. For example, nurses can access information about smoking cessation programs offered by the company. Through the use of this customized software, we can also track the outcomes from employee calls to our Health Ambassadors.
Since this client signed up for Continuwell four months ago, they have had 223 employees download and register for their customized Continuwell app. In this same time period, our Nurse Health Ambassadors received 29 calls from those employees who had concerns about their health. That equals out to a 13 percent utilization rate for that wellbeing resource alone.
Through our internal nurse software, we were able to dig deeper and examine some of the results of those calls in order to illustrate the value of providing employees with the Continuwell app. The following graph shows the results of the conversations with those 29 employees who had questions about health symptoms.
We took a deep look specifically at that 10 percent of employees who were sent to the ER. In every call, our Nurse Health Ambassadors ask the caller if they were considering going to the ER for their symptoms before contacting them. Our results found that seven employees thought that their condition was severe enough to warrant a visit to the ER, but as illustrated above only three callers were instructed to do so by our nurses.
Reports state that the average cost of an ER visit is around $2,000. As laid out in the graph below, because these employees used their Continuwell app and contacted their Health Ambassadors they saved about $8,000 in healthcare costs by preventing four unnecessary ER visits.
In addition to the savings in unnecessary ER usage, the HR director also observed a decrease in his first quarter medical claims compared to past years. We are still evaluating the claims data for the rest of 2018 before we conclude and report the overall savings on medical expenses for this client.
As this case study demonstrates, our client was able to save more than what they invested in Continuwell in healthcare savings. In addition to the ROI from savings, this client also observed an overall increase in morale and decrease in accident incidents due to employees being able to quickly check the safety checklist in the mobile app. And this result is not completely surprising: studies show that the majority of companies with workplace wellbeing programs have lowered their healthcare costs and have found that their employees make healthier lifestyle choices following a new program. This has resulted in positive outcomes for both the employees and the organizations.
Call us today to talk about how you can provide your employees with an affordable solution to ease access to your company resources while providing a free 24/7 Health Ambassadors program to improve employee health and wellness.