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Corporate wellness programs are integral for certain companies to be able to do a number of things. First, to keep the health and productivity of their employees at an optimum level. Second, to be able to contain healthcare costs. And third, to differentiate themselves from their competition.
The first goal of the corporate wellness program is to make employees healthier, happier, and more productive; this really speaks to what the culture of the company is. It has to start at the top. The top decision makers have to bring about the idea of wanting to take care of their employees as a priority. It may sound warm and fuzzy, but in fact, like a lot of other issues that affect the more social aspects of how and where we work, it can be a very powerful tool to leverage employee morale, and to facilitate employee retention.
The second goal is to contain healthcare costs. There are a number of ways to do that and they differ depending on the size of the company. For very small companies, it typically makes sense for them to do what we call a “cafeteria style” plan. They have a typical health plan, and there’s no real way for them to see savings in health insurance unless they keep shopping around, year after year, for the best deal on the individual plan. We still can certainly be of service for those companies but it’s harder for them to see healthcare costs go down with corporate wellness programs. However, for companies that grow in size, for example 25-100 employees, hybrid health plans come into play that allow the company to have two separate costs. One is an administrative cost and the other is a claims pool cost. These allow the companies to take on some risk, but the plans also allow the company to take some savings from that claims pool, should they have savings from lower claims. That’s where we come in.
We help companies understand who is at risk of diseases, and the Amai Corporate Wellness 360° program is focused on the three major areas of illness and death.
  1. Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke)
  2. Cancer
  3. Metabolic (obesity and diabetes)
We are really able to help those companies that are 25-100 employees that are partially self-insured, but we can do an even be more effective if the company is fairly large, say 100-1,000 employees, and fully self-insured. This means that they themselves pay all the employees’ claims. Once they make the leap to being fully self-insured, there is very little way for them to save money other than to engage a corporate wellness plan. However, the savings that the corporate wellness plan can help to foster can be huge.
Companies tend to ask their employees to live as healthy a lifestyle as they can, but we all know these days that doctor visits are often five minutes long and rarely do they focus on the core behaviors that can lead to wellness. That brings us to the core aspects of the Amai Corporate Wellness 360° Plan.
  1. You get 1 hour with a physician, 1 hour with a registered dietician, and 1 hour with a certified personal trainer.
  2. We put our heads together, to create a plan for the entire year.
  3. You receive remote health coaching sessions every month with each one of us.
Though we could implement the entire program remotely, for companies that are located in the greater LA area, their employees are only visiting the Amai suite once, yet, they are receiving a year’s worth of wellness. That’s where we can start to work together with the participant, and with their primary care doctor. We are not the doctor of record, but with the idea that two heads are better than one, we are allowed to help the primary care doctor focus on what’s going to keep that person healthier. This, at the same time, helps the employee themselves to engage in behaviors that lead to better health. We all know this takes time, and that there are no easy fixes. We are a very fundamental practice that uses the core principles of good movement, good nutrition, and good surveillance for disease.
The third goal is to be a recruiting or a retention tool. For companies that truly embrace the type of program we offer, the sentiment is felt in their culture. Again, this usually comes from the top. Participants and prospective employees know this, and feel this. They may think: “If I move to another company, I won’t have this really valuable way of staying well.” It really allows the company to differentiate itself from its competitors in so many cases.
Author Dr. Joseph J. Pinzone serves as the endocrinologist and primary concierge medicine physician for AMAI patients, board-certified in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Learn more about AMAI's Corporate Wellness 360° program.
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