How a South Carolina Employer Is Building a Healthier Workforce

Sept. 1, 2022

three people smiling and one holds blue shoe award Hover image

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina identifies companies in the state that make a difference for their employees’ health. Every year, the LiveLifeBlueSM awards program recognizes large employers in the Lowcountry, Upstate and Midlands. Of the companies recognized each year, one receives the “Blue Shoe” for making a real difference for its employees through workplace initiatives. 

This year’s overall winner, FN America in Columbia, won the award for the first time in 2020. Ricki Parrott, director of total rewards at FN America, shares how the company of 600 employees actively promotes health and wellness. 

Can you tell us a little about your health and wellness programs at FN?

We have two different outlets that offer wellness programs. We have an on-site health and wellness center that operates in a different building in our parking lot. Our employees don’t have to leave campus to be seen by a health provider who offers primary care to all of our employees and their covered dependents. Employees do not have to clock out to go to the wellness facility. If employees get annual health assessments, they get discounts on their health insurance premiums. If lab values come back abnormal, employees must participate in health coaching to receive that rebate. 

What has been your most successful program? 

The health and wellness center has been hugely successful. Employees who complete their annual health risk assessments can go back for follow-up visits to understand what those numbers mean. A lot of companies I have worked for offer the health assessment but no follow-up. We make sure our employees know what they have to do to get their numbers down. This has been successful for us because we can compare our results year to year for the same group of employees. We have seen decreases in five areas. Body mass index has gone down for our whole population. We have also seen drops in cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood sugar and A1C scores. We know it is working, and we have approximately two-thirds of our employees engaged in the process. 

How are you using data to drive your wellness programs?

We use data that tells us 75 percent of employees are overweight or 16 percent of female employees haven’t had a mammogram in the past five years. We are able to run reports that give us a wealth of information. We use that information to target populations that are driving our claims costs. It has worked well so far. So much so that, this year we did not raise insurance premiums at all. We credit that process of using data to target those chronic conditions that cause our claims costs to be high. When I started four years ago, we had no wellness strategy. We had almost $8 million in medical claims the company was paying because we are self-funded. Now our return on investment is very high. We are getting 2 1/2 times what we are putting into the clinic in claims savings.

What do your employees say about the programs FN America offers? 

There has not been one day that I’ve been in the office in the past two years that someone doesn’t come in and say the health and wellness center is the best benefit they have ever had at any company. They absolutely love it. The employees love the nurse practitioner who works there. They are in and out in less than 20 minutes. 

How has BlueCross helped with your wellness efforts? 

Our BlueCross representative works with us a great deal. She helps me set up challenges in the wellbeing platform and provides me with reporting. That helps me track who all is participating. We also work with BlueCross to tailor our health plan and ensure it meets the needs of our employees to ensure they are getting the most out of their health insurance.

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