Welcome to our info hub. Here you can learn more about employer and employee health trends, along with ways you can address challenges to keep your employees healthy and better your bottom line.

Lead Differently - Looking Ahead to the NCSHRM State Conference

By Jeff Thoms, assistant vice president, HEALTHWORKS Division, Carolinas HealthCare System

Today’s employers feel the pinch of rising healthcare costs more so than ever before. After a 6.8 percent increase in 2015, experts anticipate costs will rise by another 6.5 percent this year. While there are several factors driving this growth, there are steps employers can take to mitigate the impact. In fact, by making alterations to their healthcare plan, such as using higher deductibles, a company can reduce the 6.5 percent increase by almost a third.

Providing employers with plans, programs and strategies that help reduce their healthcare costs while ensuring their employees stay healthy is at the core of our mission at HEALTHWORKS. Much of our time is spent working directly with a company’s HR leadership to better understand the unique needs of their workforce, as well as the financial and logistical parameters facing the organization.

Time and again we are struck by the dedication and passion we see from these departments. We find that, as a group, HR representatives are simultaneously dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of every employee in an organization while also securing the success of the company from an infrastructural, financial and operational perspective. It is an incredibly difficult role that is vital to the success of any company.

This is why we are thrilled to continue to support the North Carolina Society for Human Resource Management (NCSHRM). This organization is dedicated to providing HR professionals with the latest tools and materials available to maximize their impact on their own companies.

One of the signature resources for NCSHRM members – the annual state conference – will be held September 28-30 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville. Encouraging attendees to “Lead Differently,” this three-day event will help members rethink how they engage with colleagues and how they approach the infrastructure of their organization.

We have no doubt that healthcare and wellness policies and programming will be key topics of discussion over the course of these three days. As the 2016 presenting sponsor of the Lead Differently Conference, we look forward to connecting with these organizational leaders, learning more about their current challenges and identifying ways that HEALTHWORKS can serve as a resource in future planning. Our team will be on hand at the event and we invite all attendees to come by our table to pick up additional information on our offerings, as well as see how our tools save companies money.

For more information on programs and tools that can help lower the healthcare costs at your company, while helping keep your employees healthy and fit, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter @HEALTHWORKS

Let’s Talk Better Employee Health for Your Bottom Line

By Daniel J. Birach, President, HEALTHWORKS Division, Carolinas HealthCare System

Over the past two decades, the number of companies providing employees with wellness resources and information has skyrocketed. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 72 percent of employers provide these resources today, compared with only 54 percent in 1996. SHRM’s most recent Employee Benefits survey found that in just the past 12 months, 45 percent of survey respondents said they increased their wellness benefit offerings.

What’s going on?

As a professional with an interest in workplace healthcare benefits, you know that there’s a dramatic shift happening in wellness programs and care models. More companies are self-insuring or partially funding and have a vested interest in more comprehensive employee healthcare programs that contribute directly to the bottom line. That’s exactly the reason we are launching this new information hub platform.

The HEALTHWORKS hub will provide you with insight into what trends are hitting the employee health benefits world, pain points that we’re seeing in the market, and how you can address them for better return on your investment. Our goal is to share knowledge that can help you make better, educated decisions about employee healthcare that positively impacts your company’s financial stability.

In the coming months, you’ll see regular contributions from our team of experts on such topics as:

  • Key drivers for lowering healthcare costs and realizing better ROI
  • The importance of employee access to healthcare resources
  • The value of health coaching and adding remote and virtual options
  • How to spark better engagement numbers for true cost savings

We’ll also share case studies and interviews with your peers to find out how they are innovating when it comes to wellness programs.

In the employee healthcare field, I’m seeing a lot of noise and confusion in the marketplace. I’m also observing that when professionals like you cut through the fog, you see that there are real and innovative solutions available for achieving positive results. Together, we’ll explore the landscape and talk about these solutions - and more - that are right for you and your employees.

Finally, we want to hear from you. If you have topics that you would like to see addressed on this hub, drop us a line at healthworksinfo@carolinashealthcare.org and be sure to follow us on our new Twitter account, @HEALTHWORKS, and on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.