How to Select a Health Risk Assessment that Will Actually Make a Difference

How to Select a Health Risk Assessment that Will Actually Make a Difference

Corporate benefits managers and CFOs alike can agree that preventing or delaying the onset of chronic disease amongst their employee populations is critical to containing medical claims costs. Yet, designing and managing employee health and wellness programs that have a sustained, measurable impact on employees’ health outcomes is challenging.  

A study done in 2022 found that health risk assessment decision-makers had inconsistent understandings of how to select an effective assessment and that the overarching emotion elicited was confusion.  

The same study found that this inconsistency “lowers the effectiveness of HRAs (health risk assessments) and that the opportunities for improving this situation come at the beginning of the assessment process, where greater attention should be given to defining the assessment and decision-making contexts.”  

How to Select a Risk Health Risk Assessment

Traditionally, employers have used de-identified aggregate output from health risk assessments and medical claims to help provide a directional guide in designing employee health and wellness programs.

This approach provides a high-level view of a population’s health status. For instance, it can show how many people are high-cost utilizers, how many people are diagnosed with chronic disease, where gaps in care exist, etc.  

However, it doesn’t answer critical questions about the future risk in the population, such as:  

  • Which subgroups and individuals in the population carry most of the future near-term avoidable disease burden and cost?  
  • How much of the future disease risk is avoidable?  
  • Which modifiable risk factors are driving most of the future disease risk?  
  • What areas should the health and wellness program focus on to be impactful?  

Utilizing a clinically validated disease risk assessment tool combined with medical and pharmacy claims provides both a prospective and retrospective view of the health status of an employee population. More importantly, it answers the questions above by pinpointing key avoidable health cost drivers in the population. In other words, a disease risk assessment tool can identify what modifiable diseases may cost an organization.

Armed with this information, organizations can create targeted health intervention strategies to minimize near-term risks and maximize cost savings.  

Questions to Ask When Considering a Disease Risk Assessment Tool

  • Is it clinically validated with peer-reviewed publications?  
  • Does it identify the future near-term disease and cost burden at the individual, subgroup, and population levels?
  • Does it identify and quantify how much of that risk is avoidable?  
  • Can it be combined with medical and pharmacy claims?  
  • Does it enhance employee knowledge, communication, and engagement?
  • Does it quantify and measure risk and cost burden change over time?  

The Know Your Number Assessment

The Wellworks For You Know Your Number® Disease Risk Assessment is a clinically validated, evidenced-based tool that predicts near-term risk for the six most costly and modifiable chronic diseases.  

For employees: Know Your Number provides an engaging report that shows their near-term risk of disease, how much is modifiable, and what the risk is compared to peers, as well as the risk factors that are in their control and have the most significant impact on their future health.

For employers: Know Your Number, combined with claims analytics, provides a prospective and retrospective population analysis that helps direct strategy and quantifies the return on health investments and related interventions. This unique analytical approach provides Benefits Managers and CFOs with critical real-time information about their employee population, revealing:

•The current health status of the population, gaps in care, and most importantly, the future near-term avoidable disease and associated cost burden at the individual and population levels

•The key health cost drivers in the population

•The subgroups in the population that have the most potential for reducing risk  

This allows for targeted coaching and wellness strategies that provide the greatest potential for near-term risk reduction and cost savings.

If you would like more information on how the Wellworks For You Know Your Number Disease Risk Assessment and our other health and wellness services can drive results for your health and wellness program, click here or fill out the form below to schedule a demo with a member of our sales team.  

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