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Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch sees 60 percent increase in wellness program participation through personalized engagement strategy


Prior to 2015, Black & Veatch — a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company — had a workplace health strategy limited to a personal health assessment (PHA) that less than 1 percent of its U.S.-based professionals completed. This led the company to find ways to provide a better, more personalized health engagement experience for its more than 6,300 eligible professionals and their 2,900 spouses and domestic partners.

Leveraging Cerner Wellness℠ technology, Black & Veatch launched a new health and wellness program in January 2015 that provided members with new benefits, incentives and services. The new services included health navigation, health coaching, primary care physician (PCP) matching, health performance reporting and population health and wellness consulting.

From the launch of the new program to December 2016, 3,834 of eligible Black & Veatch professionals participated in the wellness program, representing a 60 percent increase from the prior workplace health strategy. By the end of 2016, 3,550 of professionals were identified or matched to an off-site PCP, an increase of 1,291 professionals than in 2015.

“We experienced a significant increase in participation with our wellness program utilizing Cerner’s personalized engagement approach,” said Lori Kelleher, chief human resources officer. “Our professionals value the services provided by their health navigator and health coach, which has been key to increasing engagement.”

Cerner collected available data, including claims data, from Black & Veatch to identify the top three health risks and related costs for its professionals. Data was also collected at biometric screenings performed on-site at its locations in 53 cities in 24 states from February to May 2015. Results showed the top health risks impacting its professionals included asthma, allergies, hyperlipidemia and obesity, which equaled $790 to $2,600 per person per year in avoidable costs.

Data from the screenings and results from the 3,144 PHAs completed by professionals developed Black & Veatch’s workplace health strategy, which consists of grouping participants into segments based on similarities such as motivations and health risk scores. An analysis of medical and prescription spend by professionals in 2015 revealed those participating in the wellness program cost 21 percent less than non-participants.

To engage member participation in the health and wellness program, a tiered incentive structure was introduced. As of 2016, all Black & Veatch professionals were eligible to earn up to $500 toward their health savings accounts by participating in activities such as wellness classes and workshops, preventative activities, PCP matching, health coaching, biometric screenings and a PHA.

After completion of a PHA, Black & Veatch professionals were given opportunities to work directly with an on-site Cerner Health Navigator — who creates customized engagement plans and matches individuals to PCPs — and Cerner Health Coaches (registered nurses who provide confidential, face-to-face guidance and support on living healthier and managing conditions). More than 1,000 health coaching sessions took place in 2016.

“When I started the program, I weighed about 43 pounds more than I do now; and so I’ve been able to lose a substantial amount of weight,” said Brooke Parker, performance consultant. “I have learned through the wellness program that even though I work full time and I’m a mom, that it’s still ok to take care of myself.”

Black & Veatch, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., is an employee-owned company that operates 100 offices worldwide and ranks among Forbes’ “500 Largest Private Companies in the United States.”

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.