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Integrating Wellness Programs With Incentives

A company that sees itself as a 'universal remote' for wellness programs aims to help employers and their workforces see all of a program's offerings in one place.

October 24, 2012

The typical large employer has about 21 wellness programs available to its workers, the Pacific Business Group on Health says.

Overseeing these programs and tracking their efficacy and employee participation can be daunting for benefits managers.

One company aims to make the management of employee wellness programs easier.

IncentOne bills itself as a "universal remote" for employer wellness offerings, says Mike Derner, CEO of the Lyndhurst, New Jersey-based company. Derner demonstrated IncentOne's offerings at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco this month.

IncentOne provides one interface for multiple-employee wellness programs and is integrated into the employer's HR portal. Through this portal, benefit managers and the employees can see all their programs in one place.

"The challenge is how to get employees to engage," Derner says. IncentOne's "integration engine" brings the programs together on a dashboard where employees can track their goals and manage their rewards. At the same time, an administrative portal for employers allows benefits managers to view and update incentives and programs. The portal is also integrated into employee benefit information, Derner says.

"This unlocks the value of engagement tools," Derner says.

Cigna, Motorola, Nissan, J.P. Morgan Chase and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan are among the companies that have partnered with IncentOne. It also has 130 data partners and serves customers representing 75 million lives, the company says.

IncentOne allows employers to align incentives with outcomes in 20 biometric measures including blood pressure and cholesterol.

Amanda Goltz, senior manager of the Pacific Business Group on Health, says there's value in aggregating data from various sources, but ultimately people don't have a lot of time or interest in poring over these data points.

"I think the dashboard and being about to see the return on investment is important," Goltz says. "But it's not like a revolution because they are getting dashboarding from current vendors. And I think it implies a fluidity of data that doesn't exist yet."

Indeed, there is general dissatisfaction among employers today about timeliness of data they receive from health plans and other vendors. Nate Randall, benefits manager of Tesla Motors, a maker of luxury electric cars in Palo Alto, California, says that getting data is a "major frustration." Randall said at the Health 2.0 conference that wellness data on employees should be up-to-the-minute, similar to account information supplied by banks.

But because benefit managers and employees can't or won't examine the data, IncentOne's platform can help, Derner says.

Rebecca Vesely is a writer based in San Francisco. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com.