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UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness Contracts with MVP Health on Corporate Wellness Programs

  By Marianne Benjamin
  Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness (CEW), created and run by the University of Rochester School of Nursing, recently signed a contract with MVP Health Care, the second largest insurer in the area allowing the CEW to offer biometric screenings to companies covered by MVP at no out-of-pocket expense to their employees.

CEW already has a payer relationship with Excellus and, since its creation, has demonstrated that its wellness programs are effective in improving health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, thereby reducing avoidable health care expenses due to illness and disease.

Vestina Turner and Samuel Salter talking“It’s really important for us to have contract relationships with all the major payers in the area so that we can provide covered services to employers regardless of which insurance they carry,” said Renu Singh, MS, CEO of the UR Medicine Center for Employee Wellness and senior associate dean for finance and operations at the UR School of Nursing. “The more access we have to employers, the more we will be able to expand our market and better serve our community.”

To provide its wellness services to individual employees, CEW must have a contract relationship with the payer (e.g., MVP or Excellus) and the employer covered by the payer. A contract with the payer means employers/employees do not have to pay out of pocket for covered wellness services but can process these costs through insurance claims, making the process easy, accessible, and affordable. 

Since signing the contract with MVP in mid-June, the CEW has contracted with about a dozen new organizations. It now serves 77 employers and organizations in the Greater Rochester area.

“What is exciting about a partnership with MVP is that their team seems passionate about wellness and evaluating what is best for the population they serve. They want to offer programs that are not only evidence-based, but facile, prepared, and committed to meet the health and wellness needs of people in our community” said Singh. “They’re interested in working with us because we’re that kind of provider. They recognize and understand how we’re different and organized in a holistic clinical model that is customized to meet a person’s health and wellness needs in the context of their culture and unique attributes. We adapt our program to the cutting-edge science, developments, and advancements in the wellness industry based on what we know is working and determine the best ways to work with clientele based on that knowledge.”

The new partnership with MVP is particularly important because of its potential to lead to a greater collaboration to provide services to underserved populations who don't have access to wellness and preventative services, “The potential there is very exciting for us,” said Singh. “It would be in line with our strategic plan. We would also be able to utilize what we’ve learned and build on our pilot program with Jordan Health to expand prevention and wellness programming to underserved populations.

“We have not only outstanding population level clinical outcomes and metrics but have recently been able to demonstrate a significant cost savings associated with our programs,” said Singh. “But we need to grow so we can offer our services to more people. The more people we can reach, the healthier our community will become. The real benefit of partnerships and creating relationship with payers, in addition to providing services to employees through corporate wellness programs, is to focus on how we can provide access to wellness services to underserved populations that do not have commercial health plans, like Medicaid.”

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