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Health Assessments/Biometric Screenings

Why Employers Care

Health assessments (HAs) provide employees and employers multiple benefits. Often designed as the gateway to health and wellness programs, HAs can provide employees and their dependents with individualized feedback on their health status and recommendations for reducing health risks. They also provide employers with a mechanism to identify wellness program needs and evaluate change in the population's behavior. The National Business Group on Health/Towers Watson 16th Annual Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care Shaping Health Care Strategy in a Post-Reform Environment found that 79% of employers offered a health assessment in 2011.Of those offering a health assessment, 76% offered incentives for completion.

Over the last several years, more employers have started to offer biometric screenings as an adjunct to the health assessments. Biometric screening allows employers to collect more accurate and objective measures of employee health and offers the potential for identifying individuals with undiagnosed conditions. In 2011, 62% of large employers offered biometric screenings to employees. Of those offering biometric screenings, 52% offer incentives for completion.

What Can Employers Do?

Employers should offer HAs and biometric screenings to employees to identify specific risk factors and implement appropriate interventions (e.g., information, support, coaching, self-management, referral, etc.) to improve and maintain health. Employers should choose an assessment that targets modifiable risks in their populations to identify the most prominent and costly conditions.

To help employers begin or modify administration of their HA strategy, the National Business Group on Health produced a Health Assessment Toolkit: A Road Map for Employers. This toolkit addresses common questions employers have about offering HAs and provides solutions derived from interviews with experts and HA administrators, member quick surveys, employer examples and industry research.

Page last updated: September 11, 2012

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