Client Success Story: City of Allentown | Geneia

Client Success Story: City of Allentown

February 20, 2020
Heather Staples Lavoie, President


City of Allentown: Turning Analytic Insights into Action

At Geneia, my team and I are committed to client success. I’m proud to share with you a success story from our work with the City of Allentown.

City of Allentown: Turning Analytic Insights into Action

Background

The City of Allentown, Pennsylvania offers a comprehensive benefits package to 486 employees, 231 retirees and 5,983 spouses and dependents (including employees and retirees). Employee benefits, a key part of the City of Allentown’s (COA) talent strategy, include medical, dental and vision insurance.

Challenge

The COA’s benefits are a key point of attraction to potential talent. The city’s goal is to maintain high-quality benefits for employees, spouses and dependents while containing medical claims and costs.

Success

Meloney Sallie-Dosunmu is the COA’s director of human resources. She joined the city in August 2018. Soon after, she learned from Geraldine Garza, benefits manager, that COA is a member of the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH) Data Group, which partnered with Geneia to provide the Theon® analytics platform to select employers.

In conjunction with the partnership, Geneia provides access to analytic insights, such as population demographics, emergency department utilization and primary care usage, through the Theon® platform, as well as training to employees like Ms. Sallie-Dosunmu who want to use the data and insights to reduce costs.

During this training, Ms. Sallie-Dosunmu had an a-ha moment. The COA’s data showed most of the city’s claims were driven by spouses and dependents, yet she knew the city was not engaging them in their wellness programming, which, until recently, was directed entirely towards employees. Ms. Sallie-Dosunmu and Ms. Garza began to strategize how to reach the dependents with the COA wellness message.

Data from the Health Enhancement Research Organization Health and Well-being (HERO) shows employee participation in wellness programming may increase when spouses are allowed to partake:

  • 10 percent more employees participated in lifestyle coaching if a spouse was involved
  • An additional nine percent of employers reported improvements in health risk with spousal involvement

Gartner research “demonstrates that receiving encouragement from family and friends to live a healthier lifestyle can lead to an additional $232 of healthcare savings and productivity gains per employee.”

Conclusion

The insight about spouses and dependents driving most claims led the COA to engage all members – employees, spouses and dependents – in a Family Fun Field Day in August 2019. The city partnered with its health plan, vendors, LVBCH and many others to host this celebration of family and wellness. Highlights from the day include:

  • Skin cancer screenings
  • Mammogram sign-ups
  • CPR training
  • ‘Create-a-Craft’ with the recycling team
  • Public works ‘Touch-a-Truck’ display
  • A dance contest
  • Field activities and games hosted by summer playground facilitators
  • A mock teen room to help parents identify where their teenager might hide drugs
  • Kids and parents earning raffle tickets by stopping by wellness stations
  • Visits with the police dog
  • Getting soaked by the water spray of a city fire truck

The Family Fun Field Day was so well-received that the COA is making it an annual tradition, and will use this event as the corner stone of its ongoing effort to engage spouses and dependents in wellness initiatives.

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