A New Approach for Managing Health-and-Wellness Benefits

By Natalie Sunderland, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Castlight Health

This is part of a special advertising section featuring white papers.

Today, HR leaders face big healthcare challenges. Costs are out of control, program change is disruptive and offering employees an integrated benefits experience requires constant attention. Plus, most leaders like you have little-to-no access to the healthcare analytics needed to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

Out of this environment, enterprise healthcare management has emerged as a set of practices enabling you to strategically manage your benefits and improve both the health of your employees and your business by:

* Generating real-time, actionable insights from healthcare spending and trend data,

* Providing a centralized healthcare hub with a complete suite of apps and services,

* Enabling companies to control healthcare spending, optimize healthcare benefits, and promote employee health, wellness and productivity, and

* Offering proven strategies and tactics for sustaining business growth and performance.

The Need for Strategic Health Management

"Foster a happy, healthy, and productive workforce."

"Ensure your employees and their families are satisfied with their benefits."

"Be proactive and strategic in managing your programs with data and insights."

Your goals, like those listed above, are clear. But despite your best efforts, costs continue to rise and quality of care continues to drop. Now there's a way to transform your healthcare spend from a crippling cost into a strategic advantage.

Today's solutions enable you to manage your health and wellness benefits in a smarter, more cost-effective way -- while improving employee health and productivity.

Five Signs You're Ready for Strategic Health Management

1. Managing healthcare costs gets harder every year -- and achieving a lower cost trend seems daunting. Good employees aren't always good healthcare consumers. They often don't fully understand their benefits or how the healthcare system works. Employees often don't have access to the right information -- or an incentive -- to make informed healthcare decisions. Encouraging employees to curb costly behaviors can be challenging. Consulting a telemedicine provider instead of rushing to the ER for a sore throat is a big mindset shift for many. But it can have a significant impact on expenses. Without better healthcare consumerism, your flexibility to deploy healthcare spend in more strategic ways is limited.

2. Changing your benefits programs is a disruptive and costly process. Kicking off a big benefits change always starts with good intentions and a well-considered plan. Your objectives are likely centered on lowering healthcare costs and reducing waste.

Your team works hard to educate and prepare your workforce, but employees are often suspicious of change, and the learning curve for new benefit plans and features can be long, impacting adoption and engagement.

3. There's room to improve employee benefits satisfaction. Companies with great healthcare benefits should have a leg up in this competitive labor market. But when employees don't understand the real value of their benefits, even the best packages won't move the needle on employee satisfaction. As a result, you can find yourself in a "race" to provide the best benefits package without significant improvements in recruitment or retention.

4. It's a challenge to provide employees with a fully integrated benefits experience. An integrated healthcare benefits package is easier for you to promote and easier for your employees to use.

Yet too many companies struggle with a patchwork of tools that are complicated for employees and more expensive for your company. Health and wellness programs are underutilized, and your team struggles to boost engagement without a clear return on investment.

5. Specific opportunities for improvement are hard to pinpoint and act on. You probably know the key healthcare issues in your company. But it's harder to specify when and where employees aren't choosing high-quality providers or getting preventive care that can lead to improved health and business outcomes.

Getting employees to change behaviors to promote well-being and keep costs low is a challenge. When employees take advantage of the healthcare benefits available, their well-being improves and business thrives. It's a win-win situation on paper, but it's often tough to make a reality.

If any of these five pain points sound familiar, you're not alone. A recent Forrester Consulting study of HR leaders found that 59 percent of companies are actively looking for a technology solution to help systematically address these challenges. Complete the symptom checker above to see if EHM can help meet your needs.

Oct 2, 2015
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