Wellness programs may not have positive ROI
Do wellness programs provide savings on overall health care costs? According to a recent study by RAND and PepsiCo, the answer may be no.
Researchers analyzed data produced from Pepsi’s wellness efforts over a seven-year period, dividing programs into those targeting employees with any of 10 chronic conditions and programs focused on health risks identified through health risk assessments.
While Pepsi’s employer-sponsored low-tech home monitoring of patients with chronic diseases produced a positive return on investment, the lifestyle management component did not, according to the study, published in the policy journal Health Affairs. For every $1 invested in chronic disease management, the return in health care costs saved was $3.78. However, the return on health care costs for every dollar invested in lifestyle management programs was just 48 cents, producing a net loss of 52 cents for every dollar put into those programs.
More than 90 percent of employers with more than 50,000 employees offer employee wellness programs, while about 50 percent of those with at least 50 employees do. But that may not be warranted, the study’s authors conclude. While lifestyle-management programs produced a “small decrease in absenteeism, they have no statistically significant effect on health care costs,” the authors said, noting that “these findings cast doubt on the widely held belief in a strong business case for lifestyle management” and that “the blanket claims of ‘wellness saves money’ are not warranted.”
CEO-to-worker compensation ratio falls
The average CEO compensation in 2013 at the top 350 U.S. firms was $15.2 million, including the value of stock options exercised, up 2.8 percent since 2012 and 21.7 percent since 2010, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Also:
From 1978 to 2013, CEO compensation, adjusted for inflation, increased 937 percent, more than double the growth of the stock market and substantially more than the 10.2 percent growth in a typical worker’s compensation over the same period.
The CEO-to-worker compensation ratio was 20 to 1 in 1965, rising to 29.9 to 1 in 1978, 122.6 to 1 in 1995 and peaking at 383.4 to 1 in 2000. By 2013, that number had fallen to 295.9 to 1.
Tips for getting a business loan
While credit remains tight, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting a loan, according to the Small Business Association.