The Vitality Group's New Employer Tool Forecasts Employee Engagement in Incentive-Based Wellness Program

First-of-its kind modeling tool helps employers estimate impact on cost, savings, productivity and ROI

Feb 23, 2010, 07:55 ET from The Vitality Group

CHICAGO, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- To help employers design a wellness program to most effectively meet their goals, The Vitality Group developed an industry-first modeling tool. The proprietary Vitality Employer Optimization Tool enables employers to forecast worker engagement in the Vitality™ incentive-based wellness program and estimate the program's impact on cost, savings, productivity and return-on-investment (ROI). Based on years of experience with 1.7 million members worldwide, Vitality has been able to define and weigh the components of an effective wellness program, relative to financial incentives. The tool enables Vitality to work with employers to effectively calibrate the various components of their program to drive the greatest behavior change, and thus the greatest ROI.

The agent-based modeling tool incorporates a variety of high-level user details to create a scenario specific to an employer. The input of employer-specific information includes workforce profile, Vitality incentive offering options, and level of employer support to create a simulation unique to each employer and its specific situation.

"Each employer's population, health risks and claim patterns are different, so it's important to design a wellness program specific to their culture," said Arthur C. Carlos, Vitality CEO. "With the creation of this new tool, we are able to evaluate impactful information such as culture, executive support, communications, onsite resources and inclusion of spouses to determine how to most effectively design incentives to optimize outcomes."

In addition to providing a simulation for the user-entered Vitality offerings and employer supports, the tool runs a grid of other options to consider. This enables the employer to identify the "best mix" of Vitality offerings and employer supports to maximize engagement and outcomes.

The Vitality Group worked with Icosystem Corporation, a developer of customized business tools that replicate the detailed behavior of real systems, to develop the tool. This program uses Vitality's extensive data, broad experience, and unique model to simulate expected outcomes and predict "best case" scenarios.    

Behavior change is a critical component of an effective wellness program. In order to truly effect change, organizations need to understand the drivers of behavior modification such as the impact of incentives, culture, communication and other employer support.

Assumptions for the engagement, cost, savings and ROI simulations are based on Vitality data collected from worldwide membership. Assumptions for productivity calculations are based on secondary research sources.

How Vitality Works

Accessed online, the Vitality program begins with a Health Risk Assessment that identifies relative risk factors for each member and provides them with their Vitality Age™, a scientifically calculated representation of their risk-adjusted or "true" age. Additionally, each member is presented with a Personal Pathway™, or a personalized verifiable and clinically sound set of activities and goals to assist them in improving their health. Members are incentivized for their participation in more than 30 health-related activities throughout the program and earn Vitality Bucks®, redeemable for more than 2 million products on the Vitality Mall.

About The Vitality Group

The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Holdings Limited, a leading international financial services institution founded on the principles of consumer engagement and wellness and the originator of the Vitality health promotion program. Vitality wellness programs serve more than 1.7 million members in companies in a wide range of sizes and industry categories, improving individuals' health and well-being as well as employers' and health plans' bottom lines. Early adopters in the United States include some of America's most forward-thinking companies. They join global organizations in the United Kingdom and South Africa who together are proving the effectiveness of the Vitality health enhancement solution in reducing healthcare costs.

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Arthur Carlos

SOURCE The Vitality Group