Guest blog from Jim Trimarco, Chief Sales Officer, Viverae
If there’s one word that strikes fear into the heart of even the most capable professional, it’s “change.” And yet, dealing with change has quickly become a way of life for benefits professionals and consultants over the past few years. Not only have they had to deal with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and all the market shifts, compliance issues, and uncertainty surrounding the controversial law—but also rapid changes to the economy, technology, and legal regulations as well.
Now, with a new administration in Washington, D.C., many in the industry are asking, “What’s next for the future of healthcare and wellness?” Employers, specifically, face an uncertain future as they brace themselves for a new wave of changes to healthcare regulations and the possible repeal of the ACA.
This is where an excellent and informed consultant can prove to be invaluable to an organization. As employers scramble to understand and keep up with the new changes, health and wellness consultants are in a unique position to offer much-needed guidance and support. Here are a few ways a wellness expert can help you stay prepared for even the most disruptive changes the future may hold.
Listen and Stay Informed: Keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry is the best way to make sure you’re not blindsided by any new developments. Consultants typically take a few minutes every day to hit the books, or in this case the industry trades, to stay up to date on the latest happenings. This puts them in an excellent position to draw conclusions on where the industry is headed so they can advise you accordingly. Savvy consultants also get involved with industry associations where they discuss thoughts and ideas with colleagues. This can help provide new perspectives that they can share with you.
Go Beyond Technology: The latest industry innovations are undoubtedly useful, offering new, efficient processes and options. But it will take way more than the latest bells and whistles to help you achieve your goals and take advantage of emerging opportunities. The best consultants use a combination of account management and support in addition to the latest tools to build efficiencies and deliver results. Finding a comfort level with your consultant can help them become the trusted advisor you need to adapt to whatever changes that may confront you in the future.
Align Culture with Wellness: The benefits of a strong company culture should not be underestimated, especially when trying to improve the health and well-being of your employees. As a matter of fact, a strong company culture could be your biggest weapon in the fight to build a healthy organization. Sometimes, the outside perspective that a health consultant provides can help you discover how to align your existing company culture with your organization’s wellness goals. This can put you in an excellent position to build a healthier workplace regardless of what market shifts or new regulations may come.
Maintain Compliance: While the rules will undoubtedly change at some point in the future, no one knows exactly how or when. In the meantime, consultants are critical to helping clients remain compliant with the laws and regulations as they are. As a matter of fact, according to a new article, HIPAA audits have been on the rise in recent months. The experienced consultant can refresh clients on the current regulations and encourage additional HIPAA compliance training if needed.
Get Creative: With change comes opportunity. Consultants who are agile and creative enough to take advantage of these opportunities can put your program at the front of the pack. A recent article reported a firm reached 4,000 percent ROI by leveraging Facebook to engage their clients. Not too shabby. I’ve always felt that a great place to spark some creativity is to look at other industries. That’s why it’s a good idea to leverage your consultant to find out what’s working for others, so they can help you apply some new and impactful strategies.
In this time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever before to share our collective knowledge with each other so that we can all make the right decisions for our respective workplaces. While there are no concrete answers for what lies ahead, companies that engage their consultant and keep these ideas in mind should be in good shape whenever the dust inevitably settles.