About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Wellness Accreditation: A Good Thing?

Almost 90 percent of all US employers offer wellness programs of some kind, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. But we all know some wellness programs are better than others.

Trying to bring order to the chaos, URAC recently approved standards and measures for its Comprehensive Wellness Accreditation program. URAC is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes health care quality through its accreditation and certification programs.

The purpose of the standards is to help businesses ensure wellness programs meet some level of quality. The standards fall into five categories:
  • Assessment: Includes risk identification and risk awareness program components, such as the use of Health Risk Assessments
  • Interventions: Addresses overall program design, health coaching, and use of consumer participation incentives, education and communications aspects of wellness programs
  • Evaluation: Focuses on how the wellness organization calculates, measures, and reports participant progress and overall clinical and financial program success to the client
  • Integration: Focuses on an organization's ability and willingness to coordinate with other organizations, operations, and programs already in place
  • Measurement: Focuses on producing and reporting to purchasers and the public on a specified set of performance measures.
Standards obviously can level the playing field for employers or purchasers wanting to assess wellness programs. So what does this mean for corporate wellness professionals? Make sure you stay up to speed on URAC's wellness accreditation program, and consider the value of accreditation to your clients, companies and programs.

The devil is always in the details, so it will be interesting to see how URAC interprets its standards, how high compliance is, whether it will be widely adopted.
For some food for thought, check out the Wellness Council of America's Six Reasons Health Promotion Makes Good Business Sense.

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