Infusing a Culture of Health

Read the latest ideas and best practices from our experts on infusing a culture of health.

wellness program hipaa compliance

HIPAA and the 800-pound gorilla

A friend of mine is a zookeeper—specifically, she works with gorillas. Gorillas are powerful, agile and smart. Their enclosures constantly undergo inspection to ensure a fallen tree limb or other object doesn’t morph into a ramp to mount the top of the wall and swing to freedom beyond. Security in an organization that handles personal health information also requires proactive, ongoing assessment and surveillance. As Kaiser Permanente can attest, an object as innocent as a missing flash drive can ... Read More >

wellness program incentive trends2

Trends shaping incentive design for health plans

Many employers and health plans alike view wellness programs as a top strategy for controlling long- term health care spending. They also share another perspective: Many see incentives as key to motivating targeted, meaningful engagement. Our book-of-business data shows that incentives, when designed appropriately, can engage a larger portion of a population in health management activities. For health plans, incentive designs can be incredibly complex—as the rewards you offer for both self-funded and fully insured groups must be meaningful enough to get ... Read More >

HIPAA compliance wellness programs health plan

What Windows XP end-of-life could mean for HIPAA compliance

Support for the Windows XP operating system ends April 8, 2014. For health plans with data stored on Windows XP, this end-of-life date is critical, as protected health information (PHI) could be at risk unless action is taken. Next month, Microsoft will no longer provide automatic updates to Windows XP, which means PHI may not be adequately protected. Without these updates, Microsoft reports that users of Windows XP will become five times more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. For health ... Read More >

employee health metrics

Engagement from participation: Clarity with employee health metrics

Engagement from participation in a health management program—how do we measure it? How do we define it? And how do we know when it adds value? No surprise: Engagement was a hotly debated topic at the recent Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Think Tank last February. To help level-set the industry with a common definition of participation—as well as give greater clarity to employers around the value of their wellness efforts—HERO and Population Health Alliance are collaborating on an important project. This ... Read More >

Corporate Fitness Design-1

Tips to design a thriving corporate fitness program

A recent Towers Watson report reports that a substantial number of employers are having problems attracting and retaining key employee groups, and the percentages of employers that report this difficulty are rising. As part of a strategic imperative to attract critical-skill and high-potential employees, many employers strive to find ways to differentiate their benefits. And as part of their comprehensive benefit package, one key program that can help an employer edge out competitors for talent is corporate fitness. When done ... Read More >

wellness program data safe

How to ensure your wellness program vendor keeps data safe

As employers and health plans look to wellness program vendors for services, it is critical that these vendors are aware of and practice specific measures to protect their clients’ data. Lapses in appropriate privacy and security measures may not only violate the law, but could cause tremendous problems for employers and health plans. Every day there are notices about breaches and their impact. For example, in August, Advocate Health Care, one of the largest integrated health care systems in Illinois, reported ... Read More >


How a smart wellness platform can personalize health seeks to be “earth’s most customer-centric company,” and when you’re on its site you see evidence of this mission in play. As you consider a purchase, Amazon recommends other items based on your history on the site, giving you a sense it knows you and your personal needs. Now imagine: What if something similar could happen with a technology platform for wellness programs? What if a wellness platform could show it knows you—by tailoring triggers to take action based on your ... Read More >

breach definition affect wellness programs

What the new definition of privacy breach means to you

Last January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the “Final Rule,” also known as the “Mega Reg,” which significantly changed many important aspects of HIPAA, the federal privacy and security law. The Mega Reg took effect on March 26, 2013, although both covered entities (i.e., health plans) and their business associates (i.e., third party administrators and wellness program providers) had until Sept. 23, 2013, to comply. During the past few months, HealthFitness has received numerous questions from employers ... Read More >

Best practice wellness program

How the right wellness programs can influence retention

Ask human resource executives to cite top challenges for their company’s competitiveness in the talent marketplace during the next 10 years and retention tops the list. In fact, more than 50 percent of HR professionals (59 percent) think that retaining and rewarding the best employees will be a top challenge during the next decade, according to a 2013 Society for Human Resource Management report. Research shows that implementing a well-designed corporate wellness program can help employees remain with a company ... Read More >

customer service wellness program

Defining customer service excellence with wellness programs

Studies show wellness programs can have a positive effect on employee satisfaction with the company they work for and the benefits their company offers. Likewise, participant satisfaction with the wellness program itself is equally important, as participants who enjoy their experience are more likely to repeatedly engage with the program. But what exactly does customer service excellence with wellness programs look like? In health care, convenience and staff attitude are critical factors that determine a consumer’s satisfaction with customer service, according to a ... Read More >

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