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Would you like a 96% participation for HRAs?
Offer eye-catching discounts
Do you think that better health is enough of a reward for employees who choose to take a health risk assessment? That may not be sufficient, if you want participation rates to brag about.
Talei Akahoshi, director of occupational health at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, says that her department took the leading role in developing the organization's Your Health Matters program.
The program gave employees discounts on health plan premiums for participating in Health Risk Assessments (HRAs). Employees were offered a discount of $20 per pay period, or $520 per year, if they took a HRA. To receive the discount the following year, they had to participate in both the HRA and biometric screens.
"I presented the incentive campaign to our executive team under the leadership of our corporate VP of human resources, and gained executive approval," she says. "Once approved, I worked with marketing to develop the slogan, and assisted with the communication campaign."
Akahoshi made it her mission to make sure everyone knew what had to be done for the incentive.
"I feel that it was successful because we expressed the need for the screenings, and of course, that they were confidential," she says. "I asked managers for their support, to be sure they delivered the message back to their employees."
The occupational health team did all the screenings on and off-site, plus entered all the lab results. "We did health fairs and were available in the evenings, night shift and weekends," she says. "We even sent out letters to those who completed their screenings."
Providing periodic updates on participation rates spurred competition and increased participation rates. The team also e-mailed or called employees during the ending phase to make sure they were aware of the incentive.
"We really attempted to talk to each employee," says Akahoshi. "We had a 96% participation rate for those in our health plan. Everyone got to know their numbers."
Akahoshi credits the high participation rate to the high dollar amount of the incentive, and "pure determination."
"In hard economic times, we wanted to make sure people had the opportunity to meet the requirement," she says. "It's not about the money. It's about getting the HRA assessment and screenings done, to hopefully help them with their health status."
Health premiums are reduced for employees of the Mars/Wrigley Company in Gainesville, GA who participate in an annual HRA.
"The HRA is designed to help associates understand their health status, and provide tools and resources to improve their well-being," says Paula Hopkins Clay, RN, MPH, COHN/CM/SM, the company's health and wellness manager.
This past year, 89% of associates participated in the HRA. "We also offer personalized health coaches that guide and support associates when making changes in their lifestyles," says Clay.
[For more information on incentives for participating in occupational health programs, contact:
Talei Akahoshi, Director, Occupational Health, Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta, GA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paula Hopkins Clay, RN, MPH, COHN/CM/SM, Health and Wellness Manager, US Field Sales, Mars/Wrigley Company, Gainesville, GA. Phone: (404) 978-5202. Fax: (877) 503-3034. E-mail: email@example.com.
Barbara Hayden, RN, COHN-S, U.S. Department of the Interior, Main Interior Building Health Unit, Washington, DC. Phone: (202) 208-7057. Fax: (202) 208-7175. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.