The One Thing Your Health and Well-being Program Can’t Survive Without

November 29, 2018

Wellness… Health  & Wellness… Health and Well-being… Whatever the latest nomenclature is, these programs and solutions all have one thing in common: they’re frustrating. I’m frustrated, too. As the Chairman and CEO of a company with a platform and offering in the space, this may seem like an unusual thing to say. So I’ll explain.

Obviously, not all offerings are the same. In fact, there are so many variations I can’t even define what a wellness company is, let alone how these companies are used by their clientele. Even the value of these companies is often called into question. Uncertainties related to ROI abound, and yet, more and more companies are continuing to invest in these programs.

Every RFI out there includes questions defining and deconstructing “engagement rates”. Well, that’s an impossible question to answer. Engagement rates are dependent on the ease of use and behavioral science that is embedded in the program, its communications, incentives, corporate culture and so on. In other words, it depends on both the richness and simplicity of the offering along with the variables I just mentioned. It’s a complex puzzle without a simple answer.

What I do know is that health and well-being programs will absolutely not pay off without one essential element. And that’s chronic disease management—for all members.

Chronic disease management is the most expensive part of healthcare, and yet most programs don’t include it in their core offering and instead have expensive buy-ups with third parties and so on. There is no shortage of literature detailing the importance of including chronic disease management in a core offering and providing tangible rewards to everyone who takes advantage of the solutions. These rewards can be monetary, but they can also take other forms such as additional time off, casual dress days, or allowance for a flexible work schedule to name a few.

As part of our effort to disrupt the marketplace with our best-in-class enterprise health management platform, we were determined from the start to include a suite of chronic disease programs for diabetes, asthma, COPD and more. All of the programs are based on principles of behavioral science and economics to help ensure their effectiveness. With these offerings, we not only address the greatest costs of healthcare but do so at a PPPM price of only $2.00 for self-insured and .90 for health plans.

Doing chronic disease management correctly costs a well-being company a lot of time and money. It requires  program design and development and connecting with self-insured companies, payers and health systems. I’m glad New Ocean started out as a software development and design company. It allows us to lead the charge and create the necessary flexibility and agility for companies, health plans and health systems to continuously pivot with – this is a must in order to stay ahead of the ever-changing landscape of healthcare.