Survey shows Southeast employers lag in employee wellness programs – Nashville Business Journal (blog)

Staff Writer- Nashville Business Journal
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A new survey from Buck Consultants, a global human resources and employment consulting firm, shows that Southeast employers are lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to employee wellness programs.

The company polled 1,356 organizations across the globe, including 66 companies based in the Southeast. Tennessee-based companies like Ryman Hospitality Properties (formerly Gaylord Entertainment), BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, HCA and HealthStream were among the companies that participated in the survey.

The survey shows that 58 percent of Southeast respondents had a wellness strategy fully or partially in place, compared to 64 percent across the entire U.S. Eighteen percent of Southeast companies have no current strategy in place, compared to 14 percent nationally.

Employee wellness programs are a large push under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as employers look to control costs. The idea has gotten increased attention in recent weeks, following CVS Caremark’s announcement that it would fine employees receiving company-sponsored health insurance plans $ 600 for not partaking in a “wellness review.”

Among all U.S. employers, including the Southeast respondents, reducing health care or insurance premium costs was the No. 1 reason (out of ten options) cited for pursuing an employee wellness program. Improving worker productivity was No. 2.

Among European employers, reducing health care or insurance premium costs was the last reason cited.

In the Southeast, “cycle to work” programs are the fastest growing element of employee wellness programs.

E.J. Boyer covers Nashville’s health care industry and legal affairs.


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