Wellness programs, preventative health, chronic condition management and other types ofheath management programs within health careplans are falling well short, and so employers areincreasingly looking to third-party vendors for more effectiveprograms, according to the Accenture report, “Do employee health &wellness programs need a shot in the arm?”

“Clearly, health plans are failing to reach and have impact onpeople through their current health and wellness products, and theymust rethink how they design, market, and operate these products orrisk being carved out of this business,” the authors write.

Accenture surveyed 3,001 employees across the country, and foundthat utilization and awareness of health and wellness programsoffered by health plans was extremely low -- 62 percent ofemployees were unaware of basic services, such as a providerfinder. In addition, less than 10 percent were aware of any otherprograms offered.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.