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Workplace Wellness Infographic

Workplace wellness is a $6 billion industry. In today’s age of technology, millions of American employees are sitting at their desks for hours on end. Behaviors like these have led to a growing rate of chronic diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, stress, exhaustion, and absenteeism, just to name a few. Implementing workplace wellness programs has become a vital piece in both maintaining and improving employee health. The Society for Human Resource Management (commonly known as SHRM) released a 2015 Employee Benefits Report that discussed the uphill trend in implementing workplace wellness programs, addressing preventable and chronic disease programs in particular.

RAND Corporation also released a brief on wellness programs, titled “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money.” It took a closer look at the two most common components of a wellness program:

  1. Lifestyle management program- mitigates longer-term health risks, like smoking or obesity
  2. Disease management program- addresses immediate health problems, or chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes

It also explained the difference in ROI depending on which program you use. Overall both programs are shown to reduce an employer’s average healthcare costs by about $30 per member per month, but 87% of those savings came from disease management programs.

Disease management drives return on investment from workplace wellness programs.

Since lifestyle behaviors are deeply ingrained, changing those ‘unhealthy’ behaviors becomes a challenge for most organizations. One way to offset that challenge is with the use of incentives and rewards.

GiftCard Partners teamed up with Shapiro+Raj to explore the shift toward wellness programs and the challenges employers have to really engage their workforce. What they found was an evolution in the incentives and rewards used in these programs, from common cash and premium reductions, to the use of gift cards.

Find the right reward

Taking findings from all three of these reports we’ve compiled our Workplace Wellness Infographic to show the growing popularity of workplace wellness and the key role incentives and rewards play in motivating and engaging your workforce.

Click on the Workplace Wellness Infographic for a larger view

workplace wellness infographic

Lauren is the Marketing Specialist here at GiftCard Partners. She enjoys all things marketing and design related. Learning about the newest trends and technologies in the b2b gift card world and seeing how we can use them to develop the best experience for our audience and reader base is our goal.

Smoking at Work: Not What it Used to Be

smoking at work

Smoking at work is not what it used to be. In the days of Don Draper, it was something everyone did, all the time, whether they were at work or home. Now, it’s difficult to find a restaurant that even has a smoking section. According to a recent SHRM study that addresses smoking at work, employers have smoking cessation programs on their minds.

According to the survey, 47% of responding employers restrict their employees smoking in some way during working hours.

  • 58% limit where employees can smoke
  • 30% limit the number of times employees can smoke during the course of the work day
  • 31% ban smoking altogether

Many employers are finding that smoking can be distracting and disruptive to the workday. Not to mention it has obvious and proven health risks that raise costs for healthcare and strain the employee/employer relationship.

So how are you going to get your employees to quit without being too pushy?

Remember that old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink?” What if you provide so much proverbial water, that it can’t be ignored? Under the Affordable Care Act, employers can incentivize smoking cessation through premium deductions of up to 50%. Creating a well of education on healthy, smoke-free lifestyles not only helps give employees a starting point, but it can have a real financial impact on both your employees and your business.

Want to add an extra incentive to your program outside of a healthcare premium deduction? CVS/pharmacy is both a leader in smoking cessation (eliminating all tobacco products in 2014) and in health and wellness program rewards.

With a suite of gift cards, CVS/pharmacy offers rewards for every employee and every wellness-related program. The CVS/pharmacy Select® Card is a selectively filtered gift card that debits on only health-related items, eliminating things like candy and sodas.

Find the right incentive

Smoking cessation seems like an easy win, or maybe even obvious but it can lead to healthier living for employees and lower costs for employers.

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

The December CVS eNewsletter is Here!

December cvs eNewsletter

Top stories from the December CVS eNewsletter!

2015 is coming to a close and with the New Year right around the corner employers and employees are setting new goals…both in and out of the workplace. Many of those goals almost habitually revolve around getting (or staying) healthy. Now this doesn’t always mean skipping the extra piece of birthday cake at the office or fitting 30 minutes of cardio into your routine. It can also mean creating a more work-life balance. The reason employers should pay close attention to helping employees meet or exceed these work-life balance goals is simple, it benefits the person and the organization as a whole.

This December CVS eNewsletter focuses on ways you can help your employees keep their health top of mind in the New Year, along with all the latest CVS news. It also explains some tips and resources about the rewards and incentives that fit best for your wellness program to not only foster success but also set a culture of wellness within your organization.

CVS in the News

cvs healthCVS/pharmacy Providing Comprehensive Health Care Coverage Support – CVS/pharmacy is offering a range of health insurance tools & resources to help consumers learn about health care coverage options.

 

Family Physicians Join With CVS Health to Improve Coordination – This initiative will advocate for patients access to coordinated continuous care to ensure all consumers have access to a primary care provider.

 

More on this section…


Health & Wellness News

CVS December enewsletterMindful Eating Tips to Remember During the Holiday Season – Holiday traditions usually revolve around food. Here are a few helpful eating tips to cultivate healthy eating habits throughout the year.

 

CVS december enewsletter

5 Ways to Preempt Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a serious form of depression that can impact a person’s health and productivity. Help manage seasonal blues in your workforce.

 

More on this section…


CVS Health Brand

CVS/pharmacy Gift Card Product Suite

With more than 7,800 locations, CVS/pharmacy is the most convenient place to get the prescription medications, health care, and beauty products you need. CVS/pharmacy has a range of gift cards available that are ideal for using as the rewards and incentives in your wellness programs. Contact us today to learn more.

Discounts are also available based on volume!

More on this section…

Learn more

The CVS/pharmacy quarterly eNewsletter is brought to you by GiftCard Partners, Inc. and is designed with your needs in mind.

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

The CVS/pharmacy October eNewsletter is Out!

cvs/pharmacy newsletter

Top stories from the CVS/pharmacy October eNewsletter!

CVS Flu Shot eCard - Learn more

While the change of seasons brings us relief from the summer heat, we also start to see an increase in illness. October is the start of flu season, and on average, your employees will lose almost 3 days of work from the flu. Each flu season results in approximately $7 billion in lost productivity.

This edition of the CVS/pharmacy October eNewsletter is focused on combating flu season in your workplace. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we provide you with the best ways to keep your workforce healthy. In addition, we bring you all the latest CVS news.

CVS in the News

CVS Health launches ScriptSync™ for patients who have multiple prescriptions. The 24/7 services uses innovative online support tools to send patient reminders via phone or text and offers same day pickup.

The tobacco-free decision shows a positive impact. September marks the first anniversary of ending the sale of tobacco at more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations across the U.S.

More on this section…


Health & Wellness News

Stopping the spread of germs at work. The Society for Human Resource Management has created a sample policy to help employees learn to stop the spread of germs at the office.

Interested in providing flu shots at work but not sure what to do next? Let us help!

Can corporate wellness be your competitive advantage? TotalWellness explains the advantages to having a successful corporate wellness program.

More on this section…


CVS/pharmacy Gift Card Product Suite

We can’t talk about flu season without bringing up the CVS/pharmacy Flu Shot eGift Card. This eGift card allows recipients to redeem for one flu shot at any of the more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations across the U.S.

CVS Flu Shot eCard - Learn more

CVS/pharmacy has a range of gift cards available in bulk at discount pricing. Contact us today to learn more.

More on this section…

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

40 Healthy Snacks at Work

Healthy SnacksStaying healthy at work isn’t always easy. With anywhere from 8-10 hours in the office, healthy snacks at work are a must to keep employees energized and focused. So what are the best healthy snacks for the office? SnackNation reached out to 40 health experts, from nutritionists to dietitians, and asked them “What are your favorite healthy snacks to keep at the office (or wherever you work) and why?”

Here are top choices from the experts:

“My favorite snack to keep at work is a handful of nuts and string cheese. Keeping it low carbohydrate will not slow you down and the high protein will satisfy you until your next meal. Plus, the healthy fats in nuts will add an added dose of needed nutrition to your day.”

– Jessa Nowak, In Wealth and Health – follow Jessa on Twitter @HappynHealthyRD

“Greek Yogurt with blueberries and almonds! One of my favorites!”

– Dolcett Quince, Trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser – follow Dolcett on Twitter @dolvett

“The snack I’m hooked on right now is a couple of brown rice cakes topped with almond butter accompanied by Greek yogurt or cottage cheese topped with blueberries, raspberries, or other fruit and sprinkled with cinnamon. So good, filling, and keeps me satisfied till my next meal!”

– Krista Stryker, 12 Minute Athlete – Follow them on Twitter @12minuteathlete

“My favorite snack for my desk drawer is a Quest Nutrition Bar. They taste amazing and the macros are fantastic for my goals.”

– Heather Blackmon, FITaspire – Follow them on Twitter @fitaspire

“My favorite snack to have on hand is a small bag of raw nuts and a piece of fruit, like an apple. I like to have healthy fats and fruit with fiber to keep me feeling full for a long time. Plus it’s easy to carry around with me anywhere I go.”

– Jen Gacek, The Fit Housewife – Follow Jen on Twitter @thefithousewife

Click here to read 35 more healthy snack ideas from SnackNation. Be sure to follow SnackNation on twitter for healthy eating and more @snacknation

What are your favorite healthy snacks at work?

Comment below and let us know!

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Preventing the Flu at Work

Preventing the flu at work

Flu season can begin as early as October and last all the way through May. In the United States, an estimated 200,000 people will become sick during flu season. That adds up to thousands of missed birthdays, events, and more concerning to employers, work.

Yearly flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone age 6 months or older according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is the first and most important step to protecting oneself from this very serious disease. People should start getting vaccinated as soon as the flu shot becomes available. Many flu shot providers already received the vaccine as early as July or August. The CDC encourages getting the shot preferably by October, but as long as the flu virus is spreading, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

The flu shot is easier than ever to obtain. CVS/pharmacy offers adolescent, adult, & senior flu shots right in the store while CVS Minute Clinic locations offer all that and pediatric flu shots as well, even without insurance or an appointment. All vaccines are administered by a certified immunizing pharmacist or through a nurse practitioner or physician assistant at Minute Clinic locations.

Now available for the 2015 Flu Season, the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot eGift Card!

Together with CVS/pharmacy we are excited to offer the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot e-Gift Card. When purchased in bulk cards are also available at a discount, making it the perfect addition to a variety of corporate wellness programs. Learn more about preventing the flu at work.

Keep your workforce healthy this season; click here to learn more about the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot e-Gift Card and how it can fit into your program.

In addition to vaccination in preventing the flu at work and home, the CDC also offers these 6 valuable tips to helping prevent spreading the virus and follow the CDC on twitter for updates during the flu season.

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

What You Need to Know About the 2015 Flu Season

2015 Flu Season

The 2015 Flu season is still a few months away, but now is a great time to start getting prepared. Every year the United States experiences an epidemic of seasonal flu. While flu season peaks in the winter months, flu outbreaks can happen as early as October and can last all the way into May.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. This is the first and most important step to protecting oneself from this very serious disease. People should start getting vaccinated as soon as the flu shot becomes available. Many flu shot providers receive the vaccine as early as July or August. The CDC encourages getting the shot preferably by October. But as long as the flu virus is spreading, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.

The flu shot has become easy to obtain. Even without insurance or appointment, CVS/pharmacy offers adolescent, adult, & senior flu shots right in the store while CVS/minute clinic locations offer all that and pediatric flu shots as well. All vaccines are administered by a certified immunizing pharmacist or through a nurse practitioner or physician assistant at Minute Clinic locations.

Now available for the 2015 Flu Season, the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot eGift Card!

Together with CVS/pharmacy we are excited to offer the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot e-Gift Card. It’s the perfect addition to a variety of corporate wellness programs, regardless of the budget. Cards are available at a discount when purchased in bulk. Learn more. Keep your workforce healthy this season; click here to learn more about the CVS/pharmacy® Flu Shot e-Gift Card and how it can fit into your program.

In addition to vaccination this flu season, the CDC also offers these 6 valuable tips to helping prevent the flu and follow the CDC on twitter for updates during the flu season.

If you want to learn more on how to incorporate the flu shot into your workplace wellness program, the latest trends in health & wellness, and more tips to engage your employees?

Check out the August Edition of our CVS/pharmacy Newsletter.
CVS/pharmacy August 2015 Newsletter

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.

Employee Wellness Is Now Company Culture

employee-wellness

Employee wellness initiatives have taken many forms over the last 5-10 years. They have ranged from biometric screenings to company exercise groups to discounts on health insurance. Each company does it differently, depending on what is most effective for their specific organization. But according to this Washington Post article, employee wellness is taking a new turn and it’s compelling for both employers and employees.

Employee wellness is becoming part of company culture. With a growing millennial component to the American workforce, employers are focusing on enticing younger employees with perks and attractive cultural components in the work environment. Wellness programs are shifting to be a component of these types of company culture and positioning efforts.

So what does it mean for employers? How can they measure ROI when they take tangible metrics and transition them into the “intangible benefits” so important to difficult-to-please millennial? Here are a few ways:

  • Maintaining a healthy workforce- Active meetings, walk breaks, lunch workouts and organized company sports are great ways to keep your staff healthy without telling them to lose 10 pounds or lower their cholesterol by 20 points.
  • Maintaining a happy workforce- When millennial find what they are looking for in an employer they tend to be very loyal and more likely to really invest themselves in their workplace. Give the people what they want and you will see ROI, reduced turnover and motivated people.
  • Less invasion of privacy- Traditional employee wellness initiatives have raised concerns over employee privacy. By providing optional but enticing wellness options you can avoid getting too involved in employees’ medical records and biometric measurements.

So maybe employees wellness remains an initiative, but is presented as a perk, rather than a measurement that an employees’ benefits depend on.


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Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

Early Adopters Respond Favorably to Wellness Programs

woman-runningEmployees who engage with wellness programs earlier respond more favorably and are healthier in the long term than employees who engage with wellness programs later. Biometric screenings provide gateway to early engagement, and provide an important opportunity to use incentives as carrot rewards for plan participation and healthier readings.

Of the participants who received program incentives before their screenings,

  • 7% were being treated for diabetes
  • 14% were being treated for high blood pressure
  • 19% were being treated for high cholesterol

In contrast, among those who first completed a biometric screening and had to work for incentives,

  • 5% were being treated for diabetes
  • 10% were being treated for high blood pressure
  • 15% were being treated for high cholesterol

This is further proof for the long time theory that carrot rewards work well in motivating employees to reach specific, measurable goals. Having a goal and reward in mind helps motivate employees and keeps them on a healthy track. Healthy employees leads to increased productivity at work and lower healthcare costs for employers and employees over time.

Knowing your workplace population is extremely important when designing health and wellness programs. Identify who is first to sign on to health and wellness programs, then design incentive plans and rewards to encourage the least healthy employees to join the program and begin their climb to a healthy lifestyle.

Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional. She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.

New Medicaid Stage 3 Proposed Rule Released

medicaid stage 3

Logo Courtesy of www.cms.gov

Medicaid Stage 3 rules proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are meant to help drive higher quality, yet more cost effective care for Medicaid. These rules help improve the way providers are paid and bolster better information sharing. The new Medicaid Stage 3 meaningful use rule proposed by CMS seek to give providers more flexibility, simplify programs, drive interoperability among electric health records and put focus on improving patient outcomes.

CMS touts the proposed rule’s flexibility, pointing to simplified requirements for providers that keep a focus on advancing the use of electronic health records and the rule scraps box-checking requirements that are no longer relevant.

Officials say Stage 3’s scope is limited to 2017 and beyond. CMS is eyeing additional changes to existing meaningful rules in 2015 through separate rulemaking. The comment periods for Stage 3 and the 2015 Edition criteria end May 29, 2015.

Click here to read more about the Stage 3 proposed rule.

Jennifer DiPietro has been managing B2B gift card programs since 2010. A lover of social media, she has recently decided to get back into blogging as well as delve deeper into the world of marketing. Native to New England, she enjoys the beauty of the coast, but also loves the cold, snowy winters. She is obsessed with Boston sports and the Denver Broncos.