OK, hear me out… This isn’t 2004, I know, but some new research has shown us again not to pan the humble HRA. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine for December just came out with a great new study that shows that the HRA ALONE drove significant reductions in seven of eight key health risks and led to CUTTING THE AVERAGE HEALTH CARE COST IN HALF AFTER THREE YEARS (You can get the abstract of the article here).
This is interesting timing because in meetings with wellness program managers in the Midwest just a couple weeks ago, I was hearing about how passé HRAs are. One seasoned wellness leader said, “My employees often say that their HRA results are the same every year–so why should they fill one out?” Another said, “[HRAs] are boring and hard to get people to complete.”
I have to think that these well-meaning wellness professionals must be somewhat representative of many of you out there. Have you had a challenge getting folks to complete HRAs? Tell us in the comments your challenges and your ideas for getting more out of your HRA…
So as an ode to the humble HRA, I want to do a couple posts on them in the New Year. First, we’ll look at how to make the HRA more of a memorable and powerful intervention, second, how to drive much greater participation, and third, we’ll give you some edgy ideas on how to push your vendors (or reasons to fire vendors that can’t cut it).
But first …..take a few minutes over the holidays to consider your HRA. This thing should feel like one of your children or at least a beloved pet! It is such an important part of delivering results-driven wellness. How can you plan program interventions without it? How can you risk stratify your population without it? How can you measure your program’s effectiveness without it?
For something so important, of course you would have to fight for every percentage-point of participation, and doggedly look for ways to improve the user experience.
Join us in January to learn about breathing new life into the humble HRA!
May these last two weeks of the year be a time of enjoying family, friends and the joys of the holidays!