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Do Wellness Programs Make Cents?

Employers are investing in ways to contain health-care costs, but few know what they're getting back.

Alix Stuart, CFO.com | US
January 13, 2010

Wrong Approach

Tracking wellness programs for ROI contradicts sound accounting. Company expenses are justified, tied to tax benefits and rarely have anything to do with ROI. Investments, not expenses, seek ROI. Wellness programs are recorded as expenses - not investments - tied to the morale of the employee, competitive benefits, culture of company and actual costs created by paid sick days and resignations etc. None of these ties renders a ROI! However the health of a company is directly correlated to the health and well being of the individuals who work within and among it. Health is subjective to individuals while health of a company is not. Let's take a right approach to wellness programs that speaks to what can and cannot be tied to them. Employers are not "investing" in means to contain health care costs, they are instead spending on prevention which can reduce if not avoid the high cost of health care insurance and at the same time retain good employees, increase morale and reduce the instance of illness...all of which ties to productivity. From the accounting perspective there is no investment and therefore there can be no ROI.

Posted by Michele Fitzgerald | January 15, 2010 10:16 am

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