14 Oct 2016

Webinar: The Solution to Simplifying ACA Reporting

Webinar: The Solution to Simplifying ACA Reporting

You Survived Year One…Now what?

If you’re like many employers, complying with IRS reporting requirements was more difficult than you expected.  Now you’ll have to do the process again, but in much less time and under greater IRS scrutiny, increasing your risk for penalties. The good news is that we’re familiar with your challenges, and we have the solution you’ve been seeking.

Learn how HCIactive’s ACA Reporting Dashboard addresses these common employer challenges:

  • Accessing Critical Data – aggregate benefits, payroll, and HRIS data to simplify ACA reporting compliance
  • Tracking FTEs – establish measurement and tracking periods for part-time or seasonal employees to determine FTE status
  • Filing by the Deadline – generate and e-file IRS Forms 1094/1095 Series B and C, and track status
  • Addressing IRS Inquiries – store and retrieve compliance documentation, including offers of coverage, to address possible IRS inquiries

Plus, our software has a 98% IRS acceptance rate.  Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourself in this informative webinar.

 

Register today!

Webinar: How to Simplify ACA Reporting with HCIactive

October 27, 2016 at 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, EDT

 

 

12 Sep 2016

What Makes a High Performance Wellness Plan?

What Makes a High Performance Wellness Plan?

By John H. Capobianco, President and CMO of HCIactive

Wellness plans have become a necessary component of corporate health benefits. Yet not all wellness plans are equal. The benefits of wellness plans come faster and make a greater impact when the plan is designed to be what we call ‘high performance.’ These plans engage more directly and individually with the employee to signal that the plan is for them and tailored to their needs.

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What qualities transform a wellness plan from ho hum to high performance? Consider these five:

1: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SUPPORT

Leaders of companies with High Performance Wellness Plans view these plans as an essential contribution to a productive, effective working environment. These leaders don’t just want to check a box. They actually want a culture of wellness, within which employees take steps to improve their physical, mental, and social health with the full support of their colleagues, bosses, and the company as a whole. To do that, executive leaders communicate through their actions and words. They make budgetary decisions that protect the effectiveness and integrity of their wellness initiatives. Perhaps more important, they take part! They show up at the wellness fairs, get their blood pressure checked and their blood glucose tested; they show up for lunchtime Yoga and the company fun-run. In other words, they literally walk the talk of wellness.

2: TOOLS TO BUILD A CULTURE OF HEALTH

Anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking or lose ten pounds knows how hard it can be. Even the most motivated people could use a little help. High Performance Wellness Plans provide that help at various stages of an employee’s wellness journey.

As a first step, these plans provide in-house screening events where employees can check their weight and blood pressure, as well as get basic blood tests to check levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose. Once participants have that data, they are eligible to meet with a health coach who can provide practical advice and a personalized plan. For those employees who are not yet ready for one-on-one support, or just want a refresher, there are health education seminars or even digital coaching options available to provide generalized advice.

High Performance Wellness Plans also provide a range of tools for ongoing support and day-to-day feedback, including online integration with the most popular fitness apps and wearable devices.

Last, the best wellness plans understand that wellness can be social. People who exercise with a partner are less likely to bail on a workout; people who make a public commitment to losing weight or quitting smoking are more likely to meet their goals. High Performance Wellness Plans incorporate these social nudges to help people stick to their plan.

3: HIGH PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT

Wellness plans are driven by the engine of human motivation and engagement. When employees see their colleagues participating and reaping positive results, they get motivated to take part too.


“…plans designed with an incentive achieve a 60 percent participation rate, compared to 24 percent average participation for those plans with no incentive.”


How to get that participant base? Research shows that plans that provide incentives for participation reach higher participation rates. For example, an HCIactive study of 116 employers showed that plans designed with an incentive achieve a 60 percent participation rate, compared to a 24 percent average participation for those plans with no incentive.

The most effective incentive plans have a monetary component. Some plans give participants a gift card or make a contribution to a health savings or flexible spending account as a reward for getting certain screenings or reaching a health goal. Still other plans give the incentive first, but with the stipulation that it will be taken away if participants don’t fulfill certain requirements within a given timeframe. The experience of our corporate clients suggest that a $75 monetary incentive is the threshold level beyond which companies see relevant increases in participation.

4: ACTIONABLE DATA

Even healthy people generate a lot of medical data, from lab results and x-rays to pharmacy prescriptions. The problem for patients is that all this information resides in different systems that the patient can’t necessarily access. High Performance Wellness Plans resolve some of that pain. They provide an integrated platform where participants can access data from different sources—your general practitioner, your radiologist, your pharmacy—and even integrate it with data from proprietary sources like fitness apps.

For the employer, High Performance Wellness Plans provide access to anonymized, aggregate data about participation rates, the results from incentive plan effectiveness, and health outcomes. Employers can use this data for long-term plan design and management.

5: SCALABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY

Companies change over time. They engage in mergers or acquisitions; they develop new product lines and expand their talent base. High Performance Wellness Plans should grow with them. They need to be able to handle more scale as a company’s employee base grows or becomes more diverse.

Health provision is also changing. The proliferation of walk-in urgent care facilities, mobile clinics, and pharmacy-based labs are just some examples of the decentralization of health care. Within this changing environment, employers are playing a more active role in providing health resources for their employees. Employers such as Walmart and Lowe’s, for example, are contracting directly with care providers, a trend which is expected to grow in the coming years. In response to this trend, several of our Health System clients are rolling out new direct contracting models for employers in their regions.

Beyond that, companies need to be able to add new functions such as access to electronic records from multiple sources, and integrate with new online tools such as provider electronic medical records (EMR) systems, as doctors come online and are able to share data across digital channels.

SUMMARY

As wellness plans become a near-ubiquitous addition to corporate health benefits, plan design becomes more important. Companies can differentiate their plans and engage their employees by paying attention to small details that make a large difference. Clear executive leadership commitment, tools and resources for increasing employee engagement, helpful data integration, and the ability to grow and change with your population will allow your plan to produce the benefits that High Performance Wellness Plans are capable of. Make sure you push the limits to lead the way in driving change in the industry.

About the Author

John Capobianco is President and Chief Marketing Officer of HCIactive, a provider of advanced health planning services. John has more than thirty years of executive experience growing large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, SAP, and Computer Associates; as well as high-growth companies such as BlueStone Software and MEDecision in the IT infrastructure and healthcare IT industries.

15 Aug 2016

Listen to Capobianco Explain the Real Cost Benefits of Wellness Programs on HealthCare Consumerism Radio

Last month, President and CMO John Capobianco was a guest on HealthCare Consumerism Radio and discussed the real cost benefits of workplace wellness programs, beyond health-related cost savings. John provided insight on what employers need to understand in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their wellness program.

Listen to this 15-minute segment online here.

HealthCare Consumerism Radio helps listeners learn about the latest trends and best practices in health care consumerism and connect them with health care industry thought leaders, brokers, advisors, third party administrators, HR and benefit managers and regional health plan providers.

02 Aug 2016

Healthcare Interactive Names Ron Nall Chief Operating Officer

Experienced technology executive joins HCIactive executive management team to lead operations departments and drive strategic growth

Glenwood, MD (August 2, 2016) – Healthcare Interactive, Inc. (HCIactive) today announced that Ron Nall has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and joins the executive team, reporting to HCIactive’s President, John H Capobianco.

“Ron is a highly-trained professional with a consistent track record for achieving operational excellence.  He’s a valuable asset to the executive team and is uniquely qualified to drive the level of strategic prioritization and accountability needed to achieve our growth initiatives,” said Capobianco.

Effective immediately, Nall will assume responsibility for overseeing all operational functions of the company, including the account management, customer service, IT and software development departments. He will also play a critical role in accelerating the growth of HCIactive’s most robust health plan solution, which allows employers to direct-contract with health systems in order to provide primary care with integrated incentives and wellness services to their employees.

Capobianco, who became president in January, further stated, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ron for many years prior to HCIactive, and I am delighted to extend that relationship by collaborating to achieve the company’s growth goals.”

Prior to HCIactive, Nall accumulated over 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, strategic planning, and client services and support through executive positions at technology companies such as Computer Associates, PowerCerv, Oracle and MEDecision.

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About Healthcare Interactive

Healthcare Interactive, Inc. provides advanced health planning solutions to employers that help attract and retain the best employees by engaging them in their well-being and workplace. Our integrated technology platform, Healthspace™, runs results-driven population health and incentive management programs designed to mitigate risk, control healthcare costs, support Affordable Care Act compliance, and improve member outcomes.

23 Jun 2016

The Real Cost Benefits of Wellness Programs

The Real Cost Benefits of Wellness Programs

By John H. Capobianco, President and CMO of HCIactive

It’s no secret that wellness programs have gone mainstream. Eighty-one percent of large companies and 49 percent of small companies now offer some form of health benefit enhancement program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Many signed on with the wellness movement based on the promise that these programs would save them money on health expenses, yet not everyone is seeing the savings they expected. There are a number of reasons why. The health costs incurred in some companies may be simply rising too fast, dwarfing the benefits from the wellness initiatives. Other organizations may expect ROI too soon, and become disillusioned when there is little or no change in the first year.

Together, these issues have cast doubt over the effectiveness of wellness programs, causing business leaders to view them as just another expense. They needn’t be. Understanding the real benefits that wellness programs provide, beyond health-related cost-savings, can offer a shift in perspective.

employees

There are four real benefits to wellness programs that will impact your company’s bottom line.

1: IMPROVED RECRUITMENT RESULTS

C-suite leaders consistently say they are challenged to find enough talent to pursue new growth, and the competition is fierce. In past eras, companies offered higher wages to lure talent from competitors, but in a slow-growth economy, few can afford to engage in wage competition. Wise firms are turning to benefits for leverage.

Health benefits top the list of human resource benefits companies use to entice prospective employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Their reasoning is sound: HR benefits are among the top factors that prospective employees look for when determining whether to work for a company. Millennial talent in particular places health benefits among their top five evaluation criteria, according to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, published by the Case Foundation.

The talent is savvy—that is why you want them to work for you in the first place! They know the difference between health benefits that allow an employer to check a box, and benefits designed with the employees in mind. Well-designed wellness plans provide an edge. They supplement generic health insurance coverage with easy and transparent online access to benefits information and medical records. They also take into account growing healthcare trends such as integration with popular fitness devices like Fitbit and apps like MyFitnessPal, as well as offer programs and incentives to encourage positive health behaviors. These features communicate to prospects that your company cares about them.

2: INCREASED RETENTION

Losing a productive employee is expensive. Replacing junior and mid-level employees costs around 20% of that person’s annual salary, while replacing a senior executive can cost twice that person’s annual take-home pay, according to The Center for American Progress. That’s reason enough to hold on to the talent you have.

A number of factors contribute to an employee’s feeling of connection and commitment to their employers. Competitive pay sits at the top of the list of reasons why people stay in their jobs, but employees in all age groups say they are willing to accept a lower salary if they are compensated in other ways, such as through flexible working hours, by working for a company whose mission is meaningful to them, or by having a role that provides opportunities to use talents, or contribute in new ways.


“27% of employees today say that their company’s wellness program contributes to their sense of satisfaction with their job.”


Benefits offer an important contribution to an employee’s sense of commitment. Since 2002, SHRM data show benefits among the top five contributor’s to job satisfaction for employees in all demographics. Employees name health insurance as the benefit that most contributes to their satisfaction, and 27% of employees today say that their company’s wellness program contributes to their sense of satisfaction with their job.

The social and community aspects of wellness programs also contribute to retention. Wellness fairs, in-office services like mindfulness training or yoga classes, and corporate support for run/walk events all provide opportunities for employees to engage in wellness activities together. Social engagement makes people more personally connected to their colleagues—another factor which compels employees to stay where they are.

3: INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

It is difficult to feel present and productive at work when you don’t feel well, and people with chronic illnesses often don’t feel well. Even those in general good health find that regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and sufficient sleep make them feel more awake, energized, and in a better mood—all critical to creating a productive and positive environment.

Well-designed workplace wellness programs encourage and incentivize these positive behaviors. Moreover, they are effective. A study conducted by RAND shows that people who participate in wellness programs see positive results in the form of weight loss, increased exercise, and more fruits and vegetables in their diets. Study participants report that they feel better, too.

In-house evaluations of wellness programs have likewise highlighted productivity gains. The DuPont Corporation, for example, decreased the number of absent employee days by more than 11,000 after it instituted a wellness program; Pacific Bell Telephone Company likewise decreased absenteeism by .8 days per employee per year, resulting in savings of more than $2 million.

4: DECREASED HEALTH CARE COSTS

I opened this piece acknowledging that many companies see their overall health spending increase faster than the savings they incur. Nonetheless, there is early evidence that well-designed wellness programs decrease medical costs long term.

Companies see the biggest return on investment in programs designed to help employees manage chronic conditions, such as asthma and diabetes. Employees who suffer from mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety likewise benefit personally from better management of their condition, and require less crisis management, which decreases costs.

The numbers can be compelling. In a recent cohort case study conducted here at HCIactive, we found that members who fully participated in wellness programs had a 40 percent reduction in average medical costs compared to members that did not participate. Those numbers were based on analysis of more than two years of data from more than 1700 members. The savings from the participants alone resulted in a $1.7 million annual reduction in healthcare costs. These participants also saw a 6 percent reduction in certain abnormal lab results such as blood pressure and total cholesterol.

CONCLUSION

The bottom line is that wellness programs do work—but not only, and not primarily, as a tool for reducing health-related expenses. Recruitment, retention, and productivity should be part of how businesses evaluate the effectiveness of their benefits offerings. In the area of cost savings, better disease management and positive behaviors will help your employees achieve improved health, resulting in those lower costs over time.

For information about HCIactive’s wellness plans, click here.

About the Author

As President and Chief Marketing Officer, John Capobianco oversees all operations of HCIactive. With over thirty years of experience in the healthcare and IT industries, Capobianco is a proven business executive and technologist with a gift for articulating a compelling vision and inspiring an organization to successfully execute that vision. Before HCIactive, Capobianco grew the business and brands of large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, SAP and CA. He also led high growth companies through successful IPOs and exits at Bluestone Software and MEDecision.