8 Healthcare HR Forecasts Reviewed for Accuracy

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , December 27, 2010
Prediction 7: "Healthcare sector employee health and wellness programs."
Verdict: Correct, for the most part.

I could have phrased this prediction a little better. My point back in January was that the healthcare sector has been something of a laggard in the wellness movement, and that the sector would spend 2010 trying to catch up with other industries that have had wellness programs in place for more than a decade. In that sense, I was correct. We are hearing more talk about hospitals and other healthcare providers that are finally recognizing the need to implement effective wellness programs to reduce the cost of healthcare coverage, sick days, and other illness-related expenses, and to improve employee morale.

Frankly, that's not enough. The healthcare sector – and hospitals in particular – should be leaders by example in the wellness movement. That includes not only implementing the wellness programs, but studying wellness programs to find out what works, what doesn't, and how much money they can save. Hospitals are often the economic engines of a community and the largest employer. If your hospital implements effective wellness programs, others will follow.   
Prediction 8: "More whistleblower lawsuits."
Verdict: Guilty!

It seems like every week the U.S. Justice Department is writing about a multimillion dollar whistleblower lawsuit settlement. Often as not, the defendant is a healthcare provider, a pharmaceutical company, or an insurer. A lot of the growth in the whistleblower industry in the last few years has deservedly been directed at the financial sector. There is good money in informing, which can garner as much as 30% of the value of the settlements for whistleblowers and their attorneys.

Let me know what you think is on the radar screen for 2011.     


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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