Meadville Medical Center (MMC) faces the same challenge as many hospitals in America today: lowering costs while also improving employee health. While you might think the two goals are at odds with one another, encouraging employees to prioritize their health has helped to reduce this hospital insurance costs by millions.

Meadville Medical Center Improves Health and Cut Costs

As an independent community hospital, in Meadville, Pa, MMC does not have the resources of a large health system. “Our board’s mission is to continue to be independent, and there are financial challenges that go along with that, on top of the reductions in reimbursements and volumes that all providers are seeing,” says Greg Maras, vice president, human resources. “From an HR perspective, I look at what I can do internally to help offset these external forces.”

The hospital’s employee wellness program is doing its part in keeping costs down, estimating that for every $1 spent on the program, the organization saves $3.60 in avoidable costs.  The 210-bed hospital partners with Interactive Health for wellness services for its 1,883 eligible population. Strong support of the wellness program from senior leaders has helped the medical center attain impressive participation rates of over 70 percent and positive health outcomes.

MMC recently participated in an analysis to better understand the impact of Interactive Health’s wellness program on health care claims. Results showed

  • Participants in the wellness program spend 28 percent less on health care than non-participants in 2017
  • Wellness participants used preventive care over 25 percent more than non-participants (as a percentage of total spend), which led to more efficient utilization of care
  • Among participants in the wellness program, those at high health risk cost the organization 75 percent more than those at low risk
  • Participants with newly discovered health risks connected to care and followed through with filling prescriptions at a significantly higher rate than members with a confirmed diagnosis

Given the success of its internal wellness initiative, MMC is offering an employee health program to other employers in the community. It incorporates Interactive Health services but carries the hospital brand.

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