Summary: Stateline Meeting "Member Share" Discussion
Paul Roelke, member services advisor, facilitated a member discussion at our May 25, 2016 Stateline Meeting held at Practice Velocity in Machesney Park, Ill. The discussion provided insight into the best practices of Alliance members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Here’s the discussion topics and some ideas suggested by members, for you to consider.
What are you doing internally to promote health care consumerism?
- Many members hold an annual wellness event for their employees. Some hold their event for a day, while others have weeklong events. Blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings and glucose screenings are common at these events. The hope is to create awareness of basic screenings and to catch health concerns at an early stage. Benefit partners and community organizations are often invited to have a display booth or give a presentation at these events.
- Empower your employees. Ask your employees what they want for company-sponsored wellness activities and give them the tools they need to lead. When your own employees lead these initiatives, they will be more inclined to spread the word to their co-workers. Examples of employee-led initiatives included lunchtime walking groups and team participation in community wellness activities.
- Increase access to exercise options. Member companies offer a range of programs including onsite exercise classes, onsite fitness center with personal trainers and discounts to local fitness centers.
- Onsite nurses (or clinics) are an excellent employee resource. Even for routine things like blood pressure checks, cholesterol testing or glucose testing -- an onsite service can reduce time and cost barriers for employees to obtain basic care. Members noted that they have caught medical challenges early and onsite medical personnel can help employees find a local provider when they don’t already have one. Having an onsite nurse (or clinic) has been found to increase health care screening participation for members. This has been particularly effective when an employee does not currently have a primary care provider.
- Telemedicine is a hot topic. Many members reported they are currently researching the possibility of adding a telemedicine provider to their benefits.
What are the most effective communications tools that you’ve used?
- Make your wellness programs free. Charging even a small participation cost may prove to be a barrier to employees. Work to remove any potential barriers, including time barriers to encourage family participation.
- Topic-specific lunch and learn presentations are popular with employees. Look for speakers from local fitness or health care providers. Local community speakers are often available for little or no charge. Check out local fitness centers, agricultural share programs and area health care clinics.
- Use The Alliance’s Be a Better Health Care Consumer presentation and workbook. Several members said they bring in The Alliance on a regular basis to do a half-hour presentation. They noted that this presentation has started health care consumerism conversations between employees. Members said they provide time off of work to attend this presentation, but do not offer lunch or snacks. They typically have opened this presentation to all employees, whether participating in The Alliance network or not. Employees sign up in advance to attend this presentation – and they do attend!
What are your current challenges?
- Controlling costs. Some members reported challenges with health care costs, others cited pharmacy costs and a few agreed that both health care and pharmacy costs are of high concern.
- Educating employees as to how and why to make healthier choices. What has worked at one employer may or may not work at another employer. All of the members present agreed they are constantly searching for new ideas.
- Identifying rural doctors to be a part of The Alliance network. In rural areas of Wisconsin and Illinois, it can be challenging to identify smaller practice doctors. When local, rural doctors are identified, nominate them to become part of The Alliance network. It’s easy. Complete a Provider Nomination Form or contact Heather Oliva, provider relations manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.223.4139 x6616.
Want to put together a member meeting in your area?
Local networking events are an effective way to share and learn from neighboring Alliance employer-members in a small-group setting. Fresh ideas and new community resources available to your employees by putting together a local member meeting. Contact Mike Roche, member services manager at email@example.com or 800.223.4139 x6645 to discuss possibilities in your area.
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