Outcomes-based wellness programs not only require participation; they also require individuals to attain or maintain specific health metrics.

For example, Jack in the Box has worked with BioIQ for four years to implement a progressive, outcomes-based program see case study (PDF). During the first year, participants could earn monetary incentives simply by completing the screenings and other wellness activities. In subsequent years the incentives have been based on whether each participant’s lab results fall within the healthy range. Employees can lower their health care premiums by completing and passing a cotinine test, which proves that they are tobacco-free, and keeping their glucose and cholesterol levels in check.

Using biometric data to reveal each employee’s crucial health metrics is a great way to set a baseline for the future. Over time, employers can offer outcome-based incentives to help employees meet specific wellness goals—always with an appeals process for individuals who have a legitimate physical or health condition that prevents them from achieving the desired outcomes.

The best wellness programs don’t simply measure employee health. They also connect individuals to specific interventions based on their identified risks and needs. They measure both individual and population health. They set baselines for monitoring progress. And they deliver a measurable return-on-investment (ROI) in the form of reduced medical costs, more productive employees, and improved health outcomes.

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