January 28 — Workplace Wellness Vendors at it Again – with Moxie!

The latest addition to the healthcare blog around the issue of whether workplace wellness programs do or do not save money is a truly historic one. In the very first sentence the authors refer to the industry as being: “a field with a history of unsubstantiated claims and suspect methods.”

I was excited to hear someone besides the usual suspects speaking about what has certainly been a primary concern about our industry. I read further about the details of their program and near the end of the post came upon this claim (emphasis mine) by one of the author’s:
“This body of work documents the net savings of $342 million in direct transactional costs, the even greater concurrent reductions in indirect (e.g., lost productivity) costs, and the corresponding return-on-investment savings to cost ratio that easily exceeded 40 to 1 which the company achieved with its approach to wellness, health and productivity during the 1999-2009 period.”

Blew me away completely – Complain about the claims made by our industry and then make one that to my knowledge exceeds anything that the industry has made in the past? Wow – that takes moxie!

p.s. Looks like in the original article the claim is actually an ROI of 400 to one not 40 to one – oh well – what’s a decimal point among friends?

Jon Robison, PhD, MS, MAJon is an accomplished speaker, teacher, writer and consultant. He has spent his career advocating that health promotion shift away from its traditional, biomedical, control-oriented focus, with a particular interest in why people do what they do and don’t do what they don’t do. Jon has authored numerous articles and book chapters and is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. He is also co-author of the book, “The Spirit & Science of Holistic Health — More than Broccoli, Jogging and Bottled Water, More than Yoga, Herbs and Meditation.” This work formed the foundation for one of the first truly holistic employee wellness programs — Kailo. Kailo won awards in both Canada and The United States, and the creators lovingly claim Jon as its father. Contact Jon at: jon@salveopartners.com or jonrobison.net.

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