Employers continue to back wellness programs as a way to help control employee health care costs, even though many of them are operating in the dark when it comes to return on investment or the most effective strategies. The largest employers (20,000 employees or more) are the most likely to have done cost-benefit analyses on their workforce health management, but even in that group only 46% of employers have done so.

There's a lot of noise in the wilderness, say sources with the National Business Coalition on Health. Think identifying wellness priorities and action plans is as easy as a claims analysis? Think again. And even when you know your problem areas, choosing the best solution can be just as difficult.

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