Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is committed to promoting health, enhancing quality of life and making life better in northwestern North Carolina. This commitment extends to the ARHS employees as seen through the “Love Your Life” wellness program now in its 11th year. Find out how partnering with Interactive Health became a game changer for their wellness program.

ARHS and Interactive Health’s journey to better health
Improving employee health and reigning in healthcare costs were the driving forces behind the creation of the worksite wellness program at ARHS. In 2005, Leslie Roberts was hired as Employee Wellness Manager to lead the charge. Leslie applied for grants to creatively fund a homegrown wellness program and leveraged her experience in worksite wellness to piece together low-cost tools and resources.

Despite limited resources, the wellness program was seeing early success. As a result, the organization began discussions that would eventually lead to a greater investment in the program. Leslie and her executive sponsors understood the need to identify an experienced partner to provide a more comprehensive, integrated program and help them move to an outcomes-based strategy where participants are required to achieve specified health-related goals to receive an incentive linked to the benefit plan.

After a multi-year search, ARHS chose Interactive Health as their wellness partner. The ability to tailor services to ARHS unique needs, provide a science-based personal health goal and an integrated online user experience for their members was a game changer.

A widespread communication campaign was created to promote the enhanced wellness offerings and educate employees on the new outcomes-based incentive strategy. Once the improved “Love Your Life” wellness program was launched in 2016, employees loved the ability to complete their health assessment, view screening results and track their wellness-related activities online and in one location.

This enhanced online experience along with a quarterly healthy activities incentive program resulted in increased engagement and improved outcomes. In just one quarter, engagement increased by 15% and after one year, ARHS saw participants move from high health risk to a lower risk category if they were engaged and earning incentives online.

Moving to an outcomes-based incentive strategy isn’t for every organization but is proving to be the right move for ARHS. In 2018, 94 percent of eligible health plan members were participating in the wellness program and 87% percent of these participants achieved their personal health goal. How does this translate into dollars saved for the organization? In 2018, this two-time America’s Healthiest Companies award winner saved approximately $3.40 for every dollar spent on the wellness program.

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