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Term: Healthiest Companies in the U.S.

Description: The Healthiest Companies in the U.S. is a program ran by Interactive Health Solutions (IHS). Interactive Health Solutions facilitates employee benefit programs. Their Healthiest Companies in the U.S. includes a series of awards they present to the Healthiest Companies that participate in their wellness program. The categories that participating companies can win the award include:

  • Most Improved: Companies that show the greatest improvement in a two year period.
  • Best in Class: Healthiest companies in their field
  • Healthiest Companies Overall: The healthiest of participating companies

How are the healthiest companies determined? IHS uses a Interactive Health Index (IHI). They developed this rubric with the overseeing of medical professionals and experts that measures controllable health characteristics of the participating employees. Controllable health characteristics include things like smoking, diabetes, and heart disease. At the beginning of each year, each employee is evaluated and a IHI is determined. The IHI is determined through a health evaluation. During this evaluation possible health concerns are identified, and goals are set in place to improve the employees health. At the end of the year the same evaluation is conducted to record the employee's progress. IHS then calculates the overall company IHI score to determine the winners of the awards. During this whole process Health IT plays an integral role. Through the use of modern technology the employee does not have to leave work to conduct these tests. IHS comes to the employeer with the latest mobile health technology to conduct all the tests. Next, the results are transmitted digitally to the company and the employees. Again, IHS uses Health IT to monitor and track the employee's progress and to provide detailed and in-depth reports.

Application: The application of this program to a company and the resulting benefits can be enourmous. The benefits are both measurable and obtainable. The first major benefit, is the possibility for healthier employees. The most important thing is a company's employees well being. All the other benefits occur when this takes place. A healthy employee is a more cost efficient employee. If the employee is healthy the company saves money on health care. The employee has less doctor visits, less prescriptions, and less treatments and operations. Not only that, but the employee is out sick less and spends more time in the workplace getting work done and increasing his or her productivity. A healthy employee is also a happy employee. Physical fitness has an established connection to mental fitness. Healthier employees can deal with stress better. The figures below are provided by IHS and prove that this program really does work.

"...IHS’ research indicates that in a typical company, as many as 58 percent of employees have medical conditions that are unknown and/or not being treated, and require some type of medical intervention.

A 2007 study recently completed by Zoe Consulting, Inc., Catawba, SC, showed that, for IHS participants, the actual medical cost growth rate was 54 percent less than the medical cost growth rates for non-participants.

IHS’ data shows that companies with the most unhealthy employees have higher workmen’s compensation and short-term disability costs.

IHS also sees rates of “presenteeism” (employees that are at work – but not performing) decrease by 41 percent at the 2007 Healthiest Companies.

Notably, the cost of the entire 12-month IHS preventative care program per employee amounts to less than if an employee had visited his or her physician for one regular check-up.

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