Group Purchasing of Workplace Health Promotion Services for Small Employers

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Abstract

Objective:

Small employers are underserved with workplace health promotion services, so we explored the potential for group purchasing of these services.

Methods:

We conducted semistructured telephone interviews of member organizations serving small employers, as well as workplace health promotion vendors, in Washington State.

Results:

We interviewed 22 employer organizations (chambers of commerce, trade associations, and an insurance trust) and vendors (of fitness facilities, healthy vending machines, fresh produce delivery, weight management services, and tobacco cessation quitlines). Both cautiously supported the idea of group purchasing but felt that small employers' workplace health promotion demand must increase first. Vendors providing off-site services, for example, quitline, found group purchasing more feasible than vendors providing on-site services, for example, produce delivery.

Conclusions:

Employer member organizations are well-positioned to group purchase workplace health promotion services; vendors are receptive if there is potential profit.

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