Healthier Employees Translate to Real Savings for St. Mary Medical Center
St. Mary Medical Center, a 2,700 employee hospital located north of Philadelphia, experienced significant increases in healthcare benefi ts expenses in 2006-2008. Employee medical claims rose 22%, while chronic illness claims (a long-term determinant in healthcare costs) rose 16%. St. Mary’s leadership team needed to change their organizational culture. The hospital was faced with the need to encourage employees to live healthier lives or be faced with drastic reductions in benefits or increases in cost.
St. Mary’s turned to the WellNow program. By leveraging clinical benchmarking, coaching and positive reinforcement, WellNow helps employees make better lifestyle decisions while connecting them to the healthcare system. Employees improve their health and productivity while reducing their reliance on health care and disability. The program was introduced in late 2007 with a five year plan for creating revenue for the hospital. By implementing the WellNow program, St. Mary’s has produced returns approaching $4 million against the forecasted trend after two full years on a total investment of $300,000. Critical components of the program are:
- Health risk assessments for eligible employees
- Onsite biometric screenings
- Onsite coaching for employees
- Internal programs promoting all facets of healthy lifestyles
- Data Analytics measuring results across areas impacted by poor health
Focus is placed on bottom line savings today and predictors of future results. Measuring and monitoring performance on an ongoing basis is critical for continued success. Below are highlights of some of St. Mary’s key metrics:
- Medical claim trend increased by only 7.8% after increases of 16% in the prior two years
- Employee-only medical claim trend reduced by 2% after increases of 22% in the prior two years
- Medical claims for those with chronic disease increased by only 5.9% after averaging increases of 16% in the prior two years
St. Mary’s goals for 2010-2011 are designed to drive even greater savings to the bottom line. The hospital’s initial success with the program provides a sturdy foundation for sustainable progress. St. Mary Medical Center is proof that a well coordinated health risk management program will have a tremendous impact on the health of your employees and bottom line.