Wondering if your wellness program is delivering the goods or just delivering good profits to your vendor? Intel and GE’s joint venture Validation Institute will tell you. Think of it as a new sheriff in the wild west of wellness ROI, armed with science and a calculator.  

The new service was just unveiled this week. The offering is two-fold:

  • Wellness program vendors can have their numbers validated.
  • Consultants can be certified in population health metrics and validation.

The Institute’s stated goal is “to help organizations involved in population health adhere to the highest standards of validity, allowing them to compete on the basis of integrity and performance.” The hope is that by promoting solid science, the service will improve the industry’s credibility as a whole. 
Having a credible, respected institute offer clarity and feedback on the metrics will give the industry a reference point. Buyers can use it to select programs that truly have high value, and high impact. Instead of relying upon the vendor itself to report its results, buyers could ask for the vendor’s validation. 

Programs with low value (or at least low measurable value) may still survive, but on a more honest footing: based upon non-financial gains, such as employee morale. 

Time will tell whether the Validation Institute becomes a household name, and the prominent standard bearer for wellness metrics. It is the trailblazer at this point, and for that reason alone, worth watching.

Linda K. Riddell is principal consultant with Health Economy, LLC in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

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