Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ten Questions Publicly Traded Company Boards Should Ask about Employee Wellness

The Board reviews a company
health promotion program
As follow-up to this post about the peer-reviewed evidence linking company-sponsored employee wellness programs and total shareholder return (TSR), the Population Health Blog offers ten questions that these companies' boards of directors should consider when reviewing the topic with their management team:

1. Does the company have a wellness, health promotion, disease prevention or condition management program in place?  If not, why not?  If it does, what is the vision and strategy?

2. In addition to internal measures of "return on investment," are the costs of the program(s) worth the impact on total shareholder return (TSR) and will this pass muster with the due diligence of activist investors?

3. Do other companies competing in the same industry have wellness, health promotion, disease prevention or condition management programs? How have they fared?

4. Have the program(s) been subject to external review, such as Mercer, C. Everett Koop or CHAA

5. If the company is self-insured, what are the expectations about the impact of the program(s) on health insurance claims expense?

6. Is the programs' impact on recruitment, morale or productivity being assessed?  How, and can the results be subject to an internal audit or to third-party outside review?

7. How are regulators' and employees' concerns about discrimination or privacy being addressed?

8. Does a "Chief Health Officer" exist?  If not, why not?  If yes, does the job description include any oversight responsibility of employee health?

9. Who on the board can act as a lead in providing the necessary oversight of any of these programs?

10. Is low-cost, scalable digital technology "mHealth" being leveraged? How?

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