3 Rich Benefits of Population Health Management for Employers

People are an employer’s most valuable asset. Without employees, one could say you have no company. As with any valuable asset, your people must be cared for and protected.

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, employers can save an average of $1 to $3 on every dollar spent on an employee wellness program. The logic is simple: Healthy employees cost less to insure. Here, we cover the lucrative benefits of investing in your employee population’s health and well-being.

1. Payors Save Money on Healthcare Expenses

Offering competitive benefits or perks is the most common method of caring for employees. Health and wellness perks remain a favorite among employee benefits options. But it’s not just employees who benefit. Putting a quality corporate wellness perk into practice can have a profound financial impact on employers.

Studies show managing the health of your employees directly translates to the money you spend on employee healthcare. One well-cited report shows a 6-to-1 return on investment in company wellness programs. By engaging your staff in a more active lifestyle, you reduce their health risks and your risk of incurring the medical costs that would result. By rewarding employees living with chronic conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, for managing their medications and staying ahead of their symptoms, you save money again. The math is simple: Healthy people cost less to insure and protect.

2. Managers Increase Team Productivity

As companies reduce health risks in their employee population, healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive workers emerge. Make the workplace one where team members enjoy spending their time. Foster a culture where they enjoy contributing toward organizational goals because they know the organization is contributing to their success as well.

Suddenly, you’ll see reduced absenteeism, or fewer people calling out sick. You’ll see fewer cases of team members showing up but not being mentally present — a phenomenon that costs employers billions of dollars every year known as presenteeism. When you invest in your people, they’re more likely to invest their energy in return.

3. Companies Increase Employee Retention

Finally, by making the organization an attractive place to work, a wellness benefit program can foster employee retention. This allows employers to protect their greatest assets and build an employee population filled with the best people for the job — people who want to be there.

Back to Basics: What is Population Health Management?

Population health management focuses on addressing the health risks and concerns of cohorts, or groups of people in a specific demographic. The management that is performed is done at an individual level with the ultimate goal of producing positive health results reflected across the entire population. Population health management programs typically work in three phases: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.

  1. Planning: PHM service providers identify risk factors in the population, such as age, environmental concerns, or the existence of co-morbidities, and use that analysis to customize a path forward for the client. Here, companies will identify key performance metrics that will be used to measure success in the final phase.
  2. Implementation: The customized plan for the population is executed, putting the identified performance metrics into practice. There is typically an agreed-upon timeframe before the final phase begins (e.g., one year), and then the cycle repeats itself for future cohorts.
  3. Evaluation: Sometimes done in parallel with certain pieces of the Implementation phase, the Evaluation phase covers the successes and shortcomings of the program. During this phase, the PHM provider will discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what they and the client can do differently for the next cycle.

The most successful population health management programs start by analyzing and evaluating the needs of the population in question. Companies that benefit most from PHM are ones that have the people, culture, and resources to go through all three phases of a population health management program — and they must be dedicated to improving year over year. Having company decision-makers on board as supporters to promote engagement is critical to the program’s success!

Feature image of The Preventive Plan population health management program
Preventive Plan app users learn to make 1% improvements each day — forming new habits that stick and health outcomes that save.

At USPM, we take a whole-person approach to corporate wellness with The Preventive Plan, our innovative population health management offering. We consider four key domains of health: self-care, emotional well-being, physical activity, and nutrition. By analyzing both your current lifestyle and preexisting health conditions, we can craft a targeted plan to help population members reach their unique health goals. We empower Preventive Plan app users to make small but mighty additions to their daily routine — resulting in reduced healthcare costs and improvements to their quality of life overall.

Lifestyle Management

Lifestyle management focuses on factors within the human realm of control. Our diet, physical activity, personal hygiene, sleep patterns, and other behaviors lead to health outcomes, for better or worse. Lifestyles become well-managed with routines, or habit formation. And lifestyle management experts, such as the health coaches and care managers at USPM, equip individuals with the resources and thought practices they need to build healthy habits.

Disease Management

As is the case with lifestyle management, disease management programs emphasize healthy habit formation; however, candidates for disease management must be living with a chronic health condition such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or depression. These population members are empowered to make behavior changes to better manage existing conditions. Usually, a registered nurse or other clinical resource is involved to oversee the care plan of each member in a disease management program. A successful disease management program can yield some of the largest healthcare cost savings population health management has to offer.

Find the Best Population Health Management Company

Population health management is not a one-size-fits-all operation. First, company leadership must determine which type of corporate wellness benefit best suits their team. Look inward. Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering whether a population health management company is the right fit:

  • What is our company culture? Do we already promote health and well-being, or is that piece missing?
  • What motivates my employees? What excites them and/or elicits a response?
  • Do we have people in our organization who can help lead a corporate wellness initiative?
  • What are our barriers to achieving a culture of wellness throughout our organization today?

Corporate wellness solutions run the gamut — from healthy snack curators to companies that offer comprehensive lifestyle coaching and disease management services. These questions will prompt internal conversations. We’ll take the answers and develop the ideal solution for your unique team.

Protect Your Assets with Population Health Management

At the end of the day, employers have no business without their employees. So, taking care of employees and setting them up for their greatest success is of utmost importance for company leadership. Establishing and implementing the correct health benefits and wellness programs can be the most effective way to protect your greatest asset: your people. If you’re considering a corporate wellness benefit for your employee population, let’s chat. USPM is proud to partner with employers who desire to embed healthy choices into the fabric of the company culture.

Treating the Root Cause of Disease, Not Just the Symptoms

Our country is amid a population health transformation. Healthcare is moving from treating symptoms to finding and treating the root cause of disease.

Control Your Healthcare

With healthcare costs on the rise and 51% of all mortality1 being directly attributable to lifestyle choices, people have more control over their health than they think. For example, 85% of all type 2 diabetes diagnoses (and the side effects associated with the disease) are preventable!1

The ultimate goal is to reduce healthcare utilization and costs by improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. U.S. Preventive Medicine (USPM) has a vision to Empower Communities to Add Life to Their Years and Years to Their Life…One Person at a Time!  We approach population health management as a population of one. It starts with one, it starts with you. It starts with each one of us.

There are three tiers of preventive medicine that when combined, can create sustainable healthy individuals and workplaces:

  • Primary: Wellness/Health Promotion
  • Secondary: Early Detection
  • Tertiary: Early Intervention Care Management

While many wellness companies address primary and secondary prevention, they fail to address disease acuity and risk management. This is where the highest costs can come from. Care management includes treating the chronic conditions with a personalized care plan, care coordination, and treatment plan adherence.

A Multifaceted Solution

Even with an interactive web portal or a convenient wearable device, technology alone is not enough to drive sustainable behavioral change. The personal touch of coaching and care management combined with innovative technology drives a much higher level of engagement. USPM’s coaching philosophy recognizes the unique circumstances, environments, experiences, and social impacts that affect individuals. This recognition helps us view each individual as a complex, multidimensional person who can make decisions for him or herself.

The Preventive Plan® wellbeing program provides a customized roadmap for everyone to follow to better manage their health. The Plan outlines the risks, action items and educational information that are meaningful to an individual, and avoids short duration, high-intensity programs and cookie-cutter approaches that don’t last or deliver high levels of sustainable behavioral change.

A personalized plan can only be created once all the factors are taken into consideration for each individual. Someone who has a medical condition such as asthma, back and neck pain, coronary artery disease (CAD), or depression will have a tailored and unique set of action plans to address health risks.

This is why U.S. Preventive Medicine believes and supports the high-touch model of wellness. Our team of health coaches and care managers provide a supportive, non-judgmental learning experience and help identify barriers, assist with strategies and goal setting, monitor progress, and provide positive feedback to guide individuals toward a better quality of life by reducing risks and achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, USPM offers programs to increase member resiliency to everyday stress. We have partnered with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute to evolve traditional wellness into whole-person wellbeing. By integrating precision analytics to include stress and mental health conditions, we address the root-cause of illness.

In one health system over 6 months, our work on reducing and managing participant stress resulted in:

  • 35% decrease in perceived stress
  • 29% decrease in depersonalization
  • 27% decrease in emotional exhaustion

“Higher levels of resilience were found to have beneficial effects on worker’s perceptions of stress, psychological responses to stress, and job-related behaviors related to stress regardless of difficult environments. Faced with especially difficult work environments, workers with higher levels of resilience seem able to avoid absences and be more productive than workers with low resilience.”2

Evolve beyond wellness to comprehensive population health management. Address the root cause of risk and rising health care costs with evidence-based interventions, precision analytics, and a guaranteed quantifiable return on investment.


  1. Mokdad AH, et.al. Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000. JAMA. 2004; 291:1238-1245.
  2. “The Positive Effect of Resilience on Stress and Business Outcomes in Difficult Work Environments”, Andrew Shatte´, PhD, Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, et al. JOEM: Volume 59, Number 2, February 2017.