More than two-thirds of wellness plan participants find the health care system easier to navigate with the help of an adviser, according to an OptumHealth case study.

Detailed in a November 2 Web seminar, The GOh! Healthy Employee Program Case Study: Managing Employee Health and Reducing Costs reveals common challenges felt by employees in the workplace when it comes to wellness programs.

Since launching the pilot program May 2010 in Minnesota, OptumHealth found consumers to be comfortable with the idea of a health care adviser on their side, notes Keith Anderson, senior director of product management at OptumHealth.

The goal of including advisers in the program was to give employees a personal advocate to assist them with any health questions or concerns, says Anderson.

“We wanted people to associate all health management resources and all the programs with one name, one face, one phone number” to make engaging more simple, he says.

“At the end of the day, we need an adviser — a trusted person that we can turn to to help navigate the system and help us achieve our health care goals,” adds Dave Czerwinski, senior director of Enterprise Value Solutions with OptumHealth.

OptumHealth implemented the GOh! health management model to tackle industry challenges.

The study found five challenges that account for very low engagement in traditional worksite wellness programs. 

1) Low employee wellness

2) Lack of a strong brand and culture

3) Lack of services

4) Unclear about products, plans

5) Complexity

One of the main goals of GOh! is to help consumers choose a health care provider or an institute for an upcoming surgery or lead them to a physician. The program aims to change the culture of the worksite and to engage employees before they make critical decisions regarding their health, says Anderson, and has now expanded throughout the country.

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