Facing expectations that healthcare reform will ratchet up the cost of coverage, companies are working harder to keep their employees healthier.
According to an August survey of more than 460 companies by HR consulting company Towers Watson, 86% plan to do more to get employees to participate in health promotion programs.
For example, 78% will encourage workers to use behavioral health programs, while 74% plan to push biometric screenings, 71% health risk assessments and 67% disease management programs.
Sixty-five percent of the companies are going to increase incentives for wellness programs, and 17% say they're considering doing so. However, companies are moving to base those incentives on improvements in such measures as an employee's blood pressure or weight, rather than awarding incentives just for participating in the programs. Sixty-two percent of the employers expect to be using outcome-based incentives by 2012.