More results from HumanaVitality study of Humana employees' wellness, health claims data

By Aditi Pai
12:37 pm
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The percentage of Humana employees in a low-risk range for chronic conditions, who were also engaged in HumanaVitality, the payer’s employee wellness offering, increased by 24.4 percent, according to The HumanaVitality Impact Study. The study is a retrospective of healthcare usage and claims data for 8,000 members over three years. Humana only included members who were with the program for at least a full year, and excluded members with high cost claims, or more than $100,000 per year.

“Employers are still looking for ways to validate the success of their wellness programs,” Beth Bierbower, president of Group Segment for Humana, said in a statement. “Through multi-year study results, HumanaVitality has proven to be an effective investment in building a healthier and more productive workforce.”

Employees that used HumanaVitality had an average of six fewer hours of unscheduled absences, compared to 23 hours for unengaged users. The health claim costs for employees using HumanaVitality decreased 10 percent over the three years, while they increased 17 percent for those that weren’t engaged with the program. Additionally, members who did not have chronic conditions and used HumanaVitality were more likely to make preventative care appointments, like for a physical or a check-up.

While the study excluded the highest cost patients, HumanaVitality still pointed to its results as an indication that the program can improve engagement for those with chronic conditions.

“One critical measure of a wellness program’s success is its ability to engage all members, both the unhealthy and the healthy,” said HumanaVitality President Joe Woods. “So one of the big highlights in this study is the improved engagement in people with lifestyle-related chronic conditions.”

Almost two years ago, HumanaVitality released some data based on a two-year study of 16,000 employees. Humana looked at data from individuals who were users of HumanaVitality, and compared their claims data to their engagement with the program. They found that users who were unengaged with the program both years spent an average of $53 per month more in claims costs and had a 56.3 percent higher unexplained absence rate from work than engaged users.

Around the same time, Humana announced that it had launched a new health app for users of HumanaVitality. Humana members whose plans include HumanaVitality can use the app to keep track of their health and fitness goals.

And then last year, in February, Humana announced that it had partnered with Weight Watchers to integrate the weight loss program into various services for members, including its HumanaVitality wellness platform. Humana will make the program available to its members in qualified employer-sponsored health plans.

A few months later, news emerged that Humana launched a new lab dedicated to making sure HumanaVitality and other apps from the insurance giant would employ the same nimble development protocols that apps developed at a small startup would.

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