Nationwide implementation of healthcare reforms have businesses casting their focus inward. According to a new report by Aon Hewitt, 1,800 U.S. employers and the 15 million (or there abouts) employees they cover have a combined annual health expenditure of $120 billion… with a B! On top of this massive expense is the trajectory throughout the last six years. Expenses for companies because of their employee’s health has increased a massive 40%. That’s $8,000 more per employee in the past 6 years.

This skyrocketing of health expenses has caused employers to wonder what factors are involved in making their employees so unhealthy. They want to change Change Unhealthy and Costly Behaviors. Hewitt’s report suggests there are 8 behaviors at fault for this healthcare cost increase.

  • Poor diet
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of Health Screening
  • Poor Stress Management
  • Poor Standard of Care
  • Insufficient Sleep
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption

The above 8 behaviors play a crucial role in the 15 chronic conditions attributed from them and are the blame for the 65% of an employer’s healthcare expenditures. Diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, back pain, obesity, and cancer are all effects of the eight behaviors leading to lingering, and sometimes deadly health problems.

The list may seem a little overwhelming to tackle, but the Aon Hewitt report notes that, “Even if employers are able to meaningfully impact as few as three of the behaviors, they can see a savings of as much as $700 per employee per year.”

How are employers addressing these behaviors in a manner to make change in the workplace? Hewitt’s findings highlight the importance corporations place on increasing health and wellness within their companies.

  • 76% of employers offer condition management programs
  • 70% want to increase member utilization of wellness programs
  • 62% want more effective decision making at the member level when it
  • comes to health choices
  • 70% say wellness and health improvement are part of their current strategy

IVR Technology Group is fortunate to be comprised of people who strives to maintain a lifestyle of good health. Creating technologies that empower the patient to monitor their own vital signs and track fitness and nutrition goals has inspired us as a whole. The development of health technology advances permeates our thoughts and actions because we love what we do. IVR Technology Group believes in positive change.

Standing desks are utilized at our office. Bike helmets decorate bookshelves and desks until the cyclists head home at the end of the day. IVR Tech’s weekends are full of play parks where we meet together, building healthy relationships with our kids centered around physical activity. Mini golf, bowling, biking, hiking, Bacchic ball, and Wii games are regular events our team participates in together, as friends, outside of work. IVR Tech’s team realizes we have a unique, healthy culture of personal betterment through communicative openness and encouragement.

Investing in wellness and pushing employees to manage their health will prove beneficial to corporations in the long run. Changing behaviors from the top down and permeating the work place with a positive culture is easier said than done. But hopefully the focus on utilizing an employee’s greatest potential can be grasped by bettering the person at the most basic level: their health.

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