Do you currently provide an annual employee health screening through your company? You may fit into one of the following scenarios:
Scenario #1: You have never entertained the idea of implementing a screening program. You assume that some employees have a relationship with their personal doctor, but you can also imagine that other employees are walking around in the dark about their health status.
Scenario #2: You already hold health screenings, but your thoughts and plans around it disappear as soon as the medical technicians pack up. You’ve “checked the box” for that year and gone on your merry way.
If you fall into either of these scenarios, I would encourage you to grasp the potential opportunities outlined below that you might be missing out on.
Identify top health risks
Health screening results focus on the top medical concerns so you are aware of what conditions your staff may be dealing with. Results may also give a hint as to where some prescription costs could be coming from, such as medications for high cholesterol or diabetes.
While a health screening is just a snapshot in time, when the numbers suggest that large percentages of the population are falling into certain health risks, it’s enough to warrant intervention. This could be in the form of targeted wellness campaigns, more stringent health premium impacts, or other calls to action.
Pinpoint “borderline” populations
It’s an unfortunate truth that for some individuals and some medical conditions, once an ailment or disease is diagnosed, it will always require medication or other forms of routine care. Wellness campaigns and incentives might never budge these associated medical costs. I believe prime opportunities lie in the percentages of employees who are falling into borderline ranges, for example borderline high cholesterol, pre-hypertension, or pre-diabetes. It is a warning sign, especially if seen in cohort reports, that people are trending toward a diagnosis, which is usually then followed with medication. Targeting these individuals or conditions before they become costly to the health plan will do wonders for the individual as well as the company’s financial health.
Inform employees of your population’s overall health status
When a population is large enough to receive an aggregate report, results of health screenings can be shared with wellness administrators and employees alike without fear of leaking identifying information. While employees receive their individual results, employers may or may not choose to share the overall results with their staff, for instance in a town hall, safety meeting, or other all staff event.
I recommend that you do share, because it shifts the responsibility back to the employees. This information, of course, needs to be delivered in a tactful and professional manner, so as not to place blame or call public attention to individuals.
Whether or not you fit into our two scenarios, it’s important to identify opportunities to help your employees maintain and improve their health. By offering a health screening, employees not only learn about their health status, but you have the chance to identify top health risks, pinpoint borderline populations, and educate your employees.