Tag Archives: Wellness ROI

2015 PHA Forum: Where Population Health Policy, Innovation and Education Converge

You’re familiar with the term “population health” through posts, articles and discussions with peers. Now come learn how we all can effectively operate within the framework of population health and strengthen the population health management programs within our respective organizations.  I’m hoping you can join me Nov. 2-4, 2015 in Washington, DC for the Population Health Alliance (PHA) 16th annual Population Health Forum  – where population health policy, innovation and education converge.


Get the most recent population health policy updates from those directly shaping it. Participate in a lively and enlightening debate between industry veterans Al Lewis and Ron Goetzel. And, while at the nation’s epicenter of policy and politics, hear firsthand from keynote speakers Eleanor Clift and Mark Siegel how the upcoming Presidential campaign and soon-to-be-changing Administration may impact our industry.


Learn the latest technological advances, research and case studies from industry leaders who will share how participants can apply this insight in moving a population toward healthier lifestyles.


Receive continuing medical education (CME) and Continuing Education Units (CEU) units through a series of interactive workshops where the practitioners share industry best practices that participants can put to use within their own organizations.

No other conference combines fresh insight on population health policy with practical, applicable knowledge shared by the industry’s leading players. Here is a link with additional information and registration details.

I hope to see you there!


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“Welcome to Health: Population 1” the PHA Forum

Blank Highway road sign.

This years PHA Forum has The Great Debate during the Executive Institute between Al Lewis and Ron Goetzel on Wellness Programs and ROI, but the PHA Forum also has incredible keynotes, programming and networking.

The theme is “Welcome to Health: Population 1”. Why? Because we recognize that the person is critical, we move populations one person at a time. So whether you are into politics, a hospital or provider group doing population health, an employer, a health plan, looking to network with experts or someone who needs CME’s or CEU’s the PHA Forum has something for you.

We are all in this mission together to improve the lives and health of the people we serve, our community, patients, employees, family and friends and yes even ourselves. Come to the PHA Forum and learn real and useful insights from people who are actually doing it.

Early bird rates are still available and we have special really discounted rates for government personnel, employers and students. So join me and others in our nations capitol November 2-4 to learn, network and come together to create a true system of population health.

See you there.

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Is there an ROI in a Wellness Program? Ron Goetzel Discusses

Well the debate rages on in the wellness industry regarding Return on Investment (ROI) for wellness programs.  Many vendors have touted that their wellness programs reduce medical claims costs. Studies by Soren Mattke and analyses by others paint a very different picture.  I commented on this issue here in this blog after attending a Wellness conference last year .

Dr. Ron Goetzel at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health just released a video discussing this issue.

You can watch the video  here.

Comments anyone…

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Attended a Workplace Wellness Conference … Oy Vay!!! But there is Hope..

I recently attended a workplace wellness conference put on by a Chamber of Commerce.  The conference began with a Keynote by a Medical Director of a major health plan and then had a number of breakout sessions one could attend including:

  • Overcoming Barriers to Building a Wellness Program
  • The Business Case for a Healthy Workforce
  • The Future of Corporate Wellness
  • Best Practice for Corporate Wellness

Overall the Agenda looked very good and the speakers were key people at health plans, wellness vendors and large employers.

I was able to attend the morning keynote session and had to pick two of the breakouts, so I selected The Business Case for a Healthy Workforce and The Future of Corporate Wellness.

The keynote presentation was very well presented, entertaining and a good overview of wellness programs. Unfortunately while they discussed absenteeism and presenteeism as some of the broader values of wellness programs, they also used studies that had been walked back, claimed extremely high ROI’s  (truth be told they said it was in year 2 or 3), associated disease management and other chronic care savings with wellness program savings, made no mention of the RAND study showing a debatable ROI for wellness programs, nor did they mention the new article in the American Journal of Health Promotion entitled:

The Relationship Between Return on Investment and Quality of Study Methodology in Workplace Health Promotion Programs

This article looked at savings as related to study design and found that as the study design became more rigorous, the ROI or medical savings dropped to a net loss in the gold standard of Random Control Trial. To say the least I was a bit surprised.

The panels were even worse.

In the Business Case for a Healthy Workforce, none of the panelists had any data from their programs, nor did they refer to any studies, they just stated that “wellness saves money” and most of the comments were simple ideas like, “get the CEO involved”, “build a culture of health”, “start simple”, and had no discussion on how to do these things or build evidence based programs (a phrase I never heard at the conference).

The last panel I attended was The Future of Corporate Wellness.  A potentially great topic with a tremendous amount of exciting innovation going on: mHealth, Big Data, predictive analytics, machine learning, better behavioral approaches, incentive and plan design, gamification, integration with providers, on site clinics, collaboration, and on and on.

This panel unfortunately was moderated by someone who began by stating that “(he) had no background in healthcare, but fortunately we have a panel of experts.”  Here to the answers from the experts were sweet with no substance.

During this panel presentation I heard Continue reading

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