Survey: Employers don't measure ROI of health programs

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 9, 2007

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Though major U.S. employers are offering incentives more frequently to encourage employee participation in health programs, most of the employers aren't measuring the programs' return on investment, a survey found.

Sixty-two percent of the 242 surveyed companies said that although ROI is important, they hadn't calculated it. Of those who did measure ROI, more than 75% said they profited, according to the survey, which was revealed at the annual meeting of America's Health Insurance Plans.

The survey was conducted by the ERISA Industry Committee, the National Assn. of Manufacturers and IncentOne Inc.

Edwina Rogers, vice president of health policy for ERIC, said the survey indicated a need for companies to track the ROI of employee health, wellness and productivity programs.

Michael Dermer, president and CEO of IncentOne, which offers incentive solutions for businesses, said the first step in measuring ROI was encouraging employee participation in the programs.

"We know if we get individuals to participate, the cost savings will be there," he said. "It's a simple message of be healthier and be rewarded."

The survey also found that three-fourths of employers offer employees health management programs, and two-thirds of those employers offer incentives to participate. Forty percent of companies offer premium reductions as the incentive; 29% offer cash or bonuses.

The companies said maintaining employee motivation is the most challenging part of health management programs.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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