green and red graph linesHERO and Mercer have announced the availability of the next generation of the HERO Employee Health Management Best Practices Scorecard. The HERO Scorecard, available free of charge, allows employers to evaluate their employee health management efforts and to benchmark their program and outcomes against companies of similar sizes and industries.

“Over the last five years, the wellness industry and our health care system have changed significantly, as has our knowledge base. We can no longer judge wellness programs by the same standards we once did and what was once considered a best practice may no longer meet that standard,” Jerry Noyce, president and CEO of HERO, said.

The Scorecard survey has been enhanced to reflect the evolution of health management programs and new research on what drives optimal outcomes, as well as to improve consistency, accuracy and clarity of the tool by updating the user interface and wording of the survey questions.

One factor that is newly reflected in the scorecard is research that shows financial incentives, while effective in encouraging the completion of simple activities, are less effective in driving long-term behavior change. There is also greater understanding in the industry about the importance of leadership and organizational support for health. Additionally, new best practices have been added to the Scorecard. For example, the use of new technologies such as mobile apps, social media, and wearable devices.

HERO has published 18 commentaries, over the past five years, analyzing data collected through the Scorecard. Findings have included:

  • Allowing spouses to participate in key elements of wellness programs improves participation and outcomes;
  • Small employers with high-performing programs can produce results that are comparable to those of large employers;
  • Biometric screenings to alert employees to possible health risks and personal coaching are two of the fastest-growing elements in health management programs; and
  • Employers using financial incentives report significantly higher participation in these programs than those not offering incentives.

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