Storytelling: Choosing Wisely® Fits Into Health and Wellness Strategy at the City of Minneapolis
Part of the overall benefits strategy at the City of Minneapolis involves encouraging employees to become accountable for improving their health and wellness and, in turn, lowering costs. By attending a health and wellness class that included Choosing Wisely recommendations, employees were able to earn points toward lower monthly premiums.
“We became aware of Choosing Wisely through The Action Group and our consultant from Ahmann-Martin,” says Amy Friedman, human resources senior consultant for the City of Minneapolis. “We decided to base one of our classes on Choosing Wisely to educate employees about common tests and procedures that are sometimes unnecessary, and how to ask questions about commonly over-prescribed treatments.”
The idea of taking control and asking doctors to engage in shared decision making was new to most employees, but they expressed great curiosity about consumerism and transparency.
“It’s still early, and employees will require a lot more education about how to become health care consumers, but it was encouraging to see so much interest in the topic,” says Amy. “People are starting to understand the ‘why,’ now we need to take that to the next step and show them the ‘how.’”
Learning was a two-way street during the City’s consumerism classes. Amy’s team learned that employees are:
- Willing to use Choosing Wisely tools with their doctors, but expressed skepticism about whether their doctors know the costs of health care procedures and prescriptions.
- Not equipped with the information and tools they need to take charge of their health and health care.
- Open and willing to learn how they can contribute to lowering costs and improving care.
“We are now working with Medica on a transparency tool that will provide concrete information to help our employees shop for care and take charge of their health and wellness.” says Amy. “By combining tools and flexible services with Choosing Wisely, we hope to greatly improve employee understanding and engagement.”
Choosing Wisely for Employers