PUSH Wellness Encourages Employee Self-Care

By March 31, 2012

*This story is eighth in a series featuring the initial Healthbox Accelerator participants.

THE IDEA: PUSH Wellness gives employers an opportunity to provide cash incentives to their employees for meeting certain wellness related goals.

BACKSTORY: Co-founders Dr. Greg Vachon and Charlie Zei met while working together at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Vachon worked with patients in a health and wellness arena, while Zei worked as a project manager for the hospital. Both saw firsthand the negative effects of people not taking care of their basic health needs.

I began to think about how best to communicate the importance of wellness factors,” said Dr. Vachon. “We thought about which wellness factors were the most impactful and came up with five factors.

Problems in these areas can lead to lower productivity, more claims for worker’s compensation cases, more time off from work, and lower morale, said Zei.

HOW IT WORKS: The five factors PUSH focuses on are cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, fitness, and weight. People can earn rewards by meeting goals, such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, or by living smoke-free.

A simple tracker shows where members start, and then continues to track changes and goals as well as current payouts. An estimated future payout is also available based on goals met.

Employers can get started on PUSH’s website by answering out a few questions regarding how many employees work for the company and an estimated percentage of how many are overweight, smokers, and of certain age groups. PUSH then calculates the benefits of enrolling for employers to see.

THE PUSH DIFFERENCE: Dr. Vachon and Zei agree PUSH is different than other incentive based programs because the payouts are directly correlated to the specific changes members have made. Payouts are made based on changes made from month to month. The more changes, the higher the payouts.

WHAT’S NEXT: As this week’s Supreme Court proceedings unfold regarding the fate of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Vachon and Zei look forward to continuing to grow PUSH based on the networking opportunities Healthbox has presented. Even if the individual mandate for healthcare disintegrates, the remainder of the Act pushes more incentives for preventative and wellness care.

“Our time in Healthbox has really helped us to expand, refine our idea and how to tell our story, “ said Zei. “The wellness space is awfully crowded right now, but we’re awfully different. We’re more novel and more impactful than anything else on the market.”