Wellness Works!

Nurse Coaching Utilization Impacts Employee Benefit Costs to the Employer

Most employers offer wellness and disease management programs because they believe the long term benefits are worth the financial expense. If an employer finds effective strategies to motivate the employees, utilization in these corporate sponsored initiatives will increase. Nurse Coaches play a key role in helping individuals identify areas of risk, goal setting and ongoing support and encouragement. Nurse Coaches have the ability to touch and impact a large population.

 

“Some coaching solutions offer telephonic outreach by Nurse Coaches to initially engage users in coaching. This process successfully engages many more individuals than requiring individuals to opt-in to a program.”

 

“After initial engagement, maintaining ongoing utilization is the next step in driving overall impact. Coaching utilization is enhanced by its highly personalized and collaborative approach. A whole –person coaching approach guides each participant to focus first on the changes that he or she is ready to make, rather than comply with a set of behaviors he or she is not yet contemplating practicing. Nurse Coaches create a personalized plan of action with each individual, based on desired goals, stage of change and preferred activities. To meet plan goals, the Nurse Coach helps guide participants to find their own motivation, break through barriers, cultivate support that they need, and reward themselves when goals are achieved. When programs are designed to place the focus on the participant, high rates of program participation and satisfaction result.” According to WebMD Health Services: The Value of Health Coaching in Population Health Management.

 

 


High utilization in the wellness program will eventually translate into lower claim costs. Initially, claim costs will probably increase as participants receive information regarding potential for disease or at-risk factors that could develop into an actual disease condition. Steerage by the Nurse Coach to appropriate providers and services can result in an increase in physician visits, lab tests and medications.
That is why a disease management or wellness program should be looked at as a long term solution for creating a culture of wellness. Lifestyle changes and self management of disease will ultimately impact the bottom line for the employer’s benefit costs.