Indiana’s Health Commissioner and Wellness

Recently Indiana’s health commissioner talked up wellness efforts during a visit to Bloomington Thursday morning.

Wellness programs — efforts to improve people’s health by encouraging them to take actions such as quitting smoking or starting exercise regimens — have quality of life benefits, according to the commissioner, Dr. William VanNess. There are also very real economic reasons to push them, he said
“It’s important for your health, but it’s important for our economic health to have a healthy Indiana,” VanNess said. “That’s why we’re trying to bring all this up and shine a light on it, so people will get motivated to make a difference.”

The commissioner spoke at a Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce breakfast. He said that employer medical costs fall by $3.27 for every wellness dollar spent. Absenteeism costs fall by $2.37.

Spectrum Health Systems’ own data proves these numbers to be very reasonable. Our first year client’s see an average of $2.20:1 and in subsequent years realize between $3-$6:1.