Committing to improve and support a healthy workforce enhances our ability to work together at MGMA. MGMA has had an employee wellness program for more than 20 years. In the past two years, MGMA added a wellness portal to track participation and give employees the opportunity to earn points for participating in the program. As a result, more than 50% of employees are now participating.
One of our most significant successes is that we haven’t had to increase our health insurance premiums for four straight years despite the national trend of increasing rates. We are self-insured and our employees have done a great job of utilizing their healthcare plan appropriately, as we have emphasized overall wellness through incentives and education via the wellness program.
A June 12 MGMA Stat poll found that 46% of practice leaders say their organization has a wellness program, while 52% report they do not, and 2% say they are unsure.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), [p]reventive health and wellness benefits are designed to help maintain or improve employees' behavior to achieve better health and to reduce health risks. By warding off health problems or lowering their incidence among employees, organizations hope to save on long-term health costs... Currently, employee interest in workplace wellness programs is high. The top three reasons cited by U.S. workers are to improve their overall health, reduce their healthcare costs, and increase their chances of living a longer and healthier life. By offering access to such programs, employers can empower their employees to take control of their health and reduce their need for medical treatment and medications... A well-executed program can reduce health care costs, augment productivity and increase employee renention, providing further support for the correlation between personal health and job satisfaction.
Overall, MGMA strives to create an engaged and productive employee experience that is enhanced by our wellness program. In addition to support from our executive team as strong advocates and participants in the program’s success, a Wellness Committee, composed of employees from different business units in the organization, works to devise the overarching program and point system each year. Employees then track progress and completed activities on our wellness portal and participate in fun events to receive points. Rewards for point achievements change each year and incentivize employees to participate; though they are not required to achieve a goal as participation is a proven learning opportunity. This year, each employee will receive a $10 gift card to a Denver-based fast-casual chain that serves healthy, organic, locally sourced food, as a midway prize and a Wellness Day Off or a $50 Amazon gift card as a final achievement prize.
Each quarter, we offer challenges or activities focusing on an overall well-being specific to nutrition, mindfulness or physical activity. These include:
- Company-wide kickball game over lunch
- Annual grill-off during which employees can try different grilled vegetables, fruits and meats
- Financial education sessions
- Healthy wrap or salad potluck
- Companywide challenges – step or stair, hydration, sleep and fruit/veggie
- Group walk/run over lunch
- Bike to work day
- Company volleyball team
MGMA also participates in Global Employee Health & Fitness Month by holding a wellness activity each week in May, encourages the use of standing desks, holds an annual health fair in March and flu shot clinic in the fall and includes our Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C., by coordinating similar events as applicable. We also partner with the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, as they provide wellness tips and opportunities that fit well within our program and overall strategy.
JOIN MGMA STAT
Our ability at MGMA to provide great resources, education and advocacy depends on a strong feedback loop with healthcare leaders. To be part of this effort, sign up for MGMA Stat and make your voice heard in our weekly polls. Sign up by texting “STAT” to 33550 or visit mgma.com/stat. Polls will be sent to your phone via text message.
“Designing and managing wellness programs.” Society for Human Resource Management. June 8, 2018. Available from: http://bit.ly/2JIzA4O
Jenny Morales, SHRM-SCP, GBA
Human Resources Manager