The definition of a healthy employee population has shifted in recent years to include a more comprehensive view of wellness. Unfortunately, many employers still face challenges engaging their workers — particularly those with the highest health risks — to take steps toward better health.
Whole-person care may be the solution that enables employers to meet their employees’ health needs while positively impacting outcomes and decreasing the cost of care.
What is whole-person care?
At its core, whole-person healthcare is holistic, focusing on treating the “whole person” rather than a specific health condition. This approach addresses the fact that a person’s health is considerably impacted by the social and economic conditions in which they live and work, comprehensively bringing together all the parts of the healthcare system to proactively meet that individual’s specific health needs.
A whole-person approach is a person-centered, coordinated model of care that addresses care gaps by delivering the medical, behavioral, and social services required to improve health outcomes and enable more efficient and effective use of resources.
As an example, a person with diabetes sees a primary care doctor, podiatrist, and ophthalmologist to treat their condition. In a holistic care model, these three providers share any test results and regularly coordinate the patient’s care. Behavioral health and social needs are also identified and addressed with the appropriate referrals to receive those services. In the best-case scenario, a whole-person approach would seek to prevent a chronic disease like this from occurring in the first place.
A more connected view of employee health and wellness
No doubt, health systems can be complex and challenging to navigate. Many people encounter fragmented systems, which lack proper coordination of care. This kind of care fragmentation can result in lower quality services and higher costs overall — and the disconnection can leave people feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and less inclined to seek out the care and resources they need.
Whole-person care bridges the psycho-social factors that negatively impact a person’s overall health, creating a simplified, connected, and personalized care experience. A holistic approach will better support your employees’ needs and help them gain a sense of ownership over their health, ultimately improving their quality of life. This type of support translates to a healthier, happier, more engaged, and more productive workforce.
Whole-person care solutions are a win-win for you and your employees
Those employees who would benefit the most from wellness programs may be avoiding them. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, healthier individuals are more likely to participate in employee wellness programs. So, how can your organization effectively foster a holistic culture, supporting the health and well-being of every employee? The answer is to incorporate whole-person care into your core benefit offerings.
Integrated healthcare is a proven health benefits strategy that streamlines care delivery by connecting the dots between various health services. It makes up one part of whole-person care, and a collaborative approach rounds it out by ensuring the moments that matter most in the healthcare journey are not overlooked.
Backed up by the local density and expertise of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Anthem is connecting healthcare in a way it’s never been before — using real-time connections to care for the whole person and provide a personalized, simplified experience.
Elements of this compassionate and collaborative approach include:
- Expert guidance to help employees reach their personal health goals.
- Trusted, localized resources to support informed medical decision-making.
- Coordination of health services to improve the quality of care.
- Diverse networks with virtual and in-home care options.
Employees who feel supported in their health and well-being are more equipped to cope with life’s stressors, work productively, and realize their full potential. Employers that adopt a comprehensive and compassionate whole-person approach will improve health outcomes and drive cost savings for all — a true win-win.