Workplace wellness programs have had mixed reviews regarding successful outcomes, a positive ROI for employers and reduction in healthcare cost. In fact, there has been more and more negative press about the results of these programs, and in many cases it has been justified. The old adage of “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” is very appropriate as it relates to workplace wellness programs. Employees can’t be paid to get healthy and they can’t be incentivized to participate in a wellness program if they don’t understand why they are doing it.

In previous articles we have stated that engagement is the key factor in a successful telehealth program or system. We submit that the same is true of wellness programs. This might seem like a trite statement, but I state this for one particular reason. When I say that engagement is important, I don’t mean tepid engagement, but rather 80% or 90% engagement. Is that even possible? How would that affect an employer’s healthcare costs, especially if they are self-funded? What affect would it have on an employer’s bottom line, and ROI?

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