References › City of Rowlett, TX
The city of Rowlett is self-insured community of 80,000 residents just outside Dallas, Texas. The community employs approximately 300 employees, including police, fire and other first responders. As a result of skyrocketing health claims, the city embarked on an innovative and aggressive wellness initiative designed to simultaneously lower overall costs and improve employees’ personal health.
In 2012, Rowlett created the Wellness Accountability Program, an incentive-based initiative designed to help employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviors as a way of life. The program includes raising employee’s awareness of their own health status and provides them extensive education and resources to help them stay healthy, get healthy, or live better with an existing illness.
The Wellness Accountability Program is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It allows employees to select the programs and activities that are best suited for their needs,while earning medical premium contribution incentives along the way. However, by directly linking employee health insurance contributions to wellness program participation, the city blends individual employee wellness efforts with their overall health care cost containment strategy.
There are two key components to the program, when combined offer up to a 40% discount in their monthly health insurance premiums through active participation:
Annual Biometric Screening
Provides critical diagnostic data to identify problem areas (20% discount available simply by taking a annual exam regardless of results)
Encourages improvement through fitness and nutrition (up to 20% discount available through a wide portfolio of activities)
As a result of these significant incentives, Rowlett currently has 100% participation in both the biometric screening and wellness accountability components, with many employees achieving the maximum 40% discount.
The quality of the data allowed Rowlett to develop specific improvement plans. The first two years of the program, which focused on obtaining baseline data, revealed staggeringly high results for obesity, risk of diabetes and hypertension:
Based on the results, Rowlett heavily emphasized nutritional behaviors as part of the program. The Rowlett wellness team also realized more needed to be done than to simply record biometric data and increase awareness. Like many programs, they did not measure the overall fitness, nor did they offer much for those employees who were already in good health. After a thorough evaluation, Rowlett introduced the realFIT score as a new elective option within the wellness accountability program in 2013.
The addition of realFIT helped Rowlett shift from simple employee enrollment to active engagement, as well as simplify its existing portfolio. The turnkey realFIT scoring solution includes rigorous testing procedures and comprehensive individual scoring reports, all shared with the employee.
The realFIT approach not only offers valuable data, but other benefits highlighted below.
Rowlett chose to implement the realFIT Private Community option, which not only provides their own website and scoreboard, but the ability to centrally manage all employee profile and performance data.
The realFIT data-oriented approach perfectly complemented Rowlett’s desire to make decisions with good information. The ability to self-manage the entire effort through their own employees provided additional control.
On July 15, 2013, eight individuals from the wellness team in Rowlett, Texas, successfully completed the realFIT Orientation to become Certified Officials. The program included a full day introduction to the realFIT philosophy, testing methods and website administration. Each candidate also performed many of the realFIT tests and certified their own results.
These officials perform all of the testing for Rowlett employees and ensure consistent measurement standards.
To ensure accurate measurement, Rowlett manages the testing at its own facility through designated employees fully trained as realFIT Certified Officials. These officials are the only individuals with the authority to certify test results and they monitor monthly fitness testing sessions. realFIT also provides Rowlett with its own private website, allowing each employee to control whether they share their individual results on the community scoreboard.
Each employee has full access to their own data, including score history at every level. They can track their performance by individual test and build scores from any combination of results They also have the ability to set personal goals or compare to other individuals.
The realFIT score immediately became popular for those employees who were already fit, especially the competitive police and fire first responders. However, realFIT also appealed to all levels of fitness, since the score established a clear baseline, helping each employee set their own unique goals, regardless of starting point. More importantly, it offered “proof” of improvement. Like the initial biometric screens, employees got incentive points simply for taking the tests, regardless of overall score. Individuals can also set their own personal goals, and track their progress at all levels.
Rowlett utilizes the realFIT scoreboard so individuals may showcase their results. It brings out the competitive spirit, not only between co-workers but also between the various units such as police and fire. This feature adds a sense of community to the organization and keeps everyone motivated to improve their scores. Individuals can also choose to keep their information private. They can also compare to others, either within the community or a "celebrity" profile.
The Rowlett community embraces the concept of continuous improvement, and the unstated goal of the Wellness Program is to keep raising the bar every year. With realFIT, Rowlett introduced rigorous fitness measurement beyond basic biometric screens, and helped educate employees on their own status. In addition, the realFIT scoring solution provides accurate data to measure improvement. Almost 25% of employees chose the realFIT option in the first year of adoption, and the rate is expected to rise in Year 2. The Rowlett program is a remarkable success and offers a blueprint for any organization that wants to offer a true wellness program, not a feel-good effort focused only on participation or achievement of minimal standards. realFIT is very proud to be a part of the Rowlett success story.
Many of our already fit employees were looking for a challenge beyond simple exercise tips or a pedometer. Not only did realFIT provide that challenge, the employees got valuable diagnostic information on their strengths and weaknesses.
For the rest of the community, the individual employee diagnostic information helps me develop custom improvement programs, including diet and nutrition assistance. I can also manage all my employees data through my own administrative tools.
And I am proud to say I can now do four realFIT certified pull ups!
|City of Rowlett, Texas|