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December 18, 2023

Fostering a culture of well-being and demonstrating the benefits to your organization

Andrea Neal

A growing number of small and mid-size organizations want to support employee well-being. However, they face multiple challenges. These include finding affordable, streamlined ways to introduce well-being initiatives and measuring the impacts of these efforts to justify their organization’s continued investment.

The Town of Apex—a small North Carolina municipality near the state’s capital—is an example of an organization that faced these challenges. They leveraged data to successfully design and deliver a wellness program. They were then able to demonstrate the positive impacts of their efforts on their population’s total health and well-being—as well as on their organization’s bottom line.


Fostering a culture of health requires that an organization assess needs and opportunities across the multiple dimensions of well-being (physical, social, mental, and financial). They must then deploy appropriate strategies and resources to support employees and their families. Like many organizations tasked with offering affordable, competitive benefits, the Town chose to implement a wellness incentive program.

The Town built the program by tapping into local and carrier resources that address their top employee health and well-being areas of concern. The program encourages employees to utilize recommended preventive care services and complete a health assessment. This helps employees better understand their health risks and how to manage them. Employees who complete these activities earn a medical premium differential.

A network of Wellness Champions supports the program and effectively engages most of the Town’s employees. Additionally, the program has participants across the spectrum of health—not just the “worried well,” or those who are healthy and frequently visit the doctor. Though the Town has many other strategies and programs to support total well-being, they wanted to measure the impact of this strategy.

The Town partnered with Marsh McLennan Agency to conduct this analysis. Our clinical consulting and data analytics team leveraged their analytics platform that houses the Town’s medical and pharmacy claims data. We conducted a cohort analysis comparing employees who participated in the program against employees who did not. We also conducted a year-over-year analysis of employees who participated two years in a row. 


An evaluation of the program showed that participants with much higher utilization of preventive care and telehealth services have a much lower rate of ER visits and hospital admissions. They also have lower overall health risks and medical costs despite having a higher rate of chronic conditions.

Though participants had a higher incidence of chronic conditions than, and similar claims utilization to, non-participants, they exhibited:

  • 43% lower medical spend per member per month
  • Higher preventive care compliance rates for annual physicals, mammograms, and pap tests

Participant vs. Non-Participant: Utilization and Cost

Participant vs Non-Participant: Preventive Compliance Rates

The 285 participants who participated two years in a row experienced:

  • 18% lower medical spend per member per month, despite an increase in visits to the doctor and chronic condition prevalence
  • Improved preventive care compliance rates for annual physicals, mammograms, and pap tests


Simply put, engaging with employees about well-being is not just the right thing to do—it’s good business. A well-designed wellness program attracts participants across the spectrum of health and positively impacts current and future health care risk, cost, and utilization trends. 

Let us help you design a wellness program. We can help leverage the right resources, incentives, and promotional strategies that create a healthy workforce. Ultimately, the program we help you develop can drive more favorable health care utilization within your organization. Contact a well-being consultant today to learn more.

Are you also interested in learning how we helped the Town increase its employee assistance program utilization by over 44%? Continue on to read more