Confidential Biometric Screenings
Administered By Human Resource Services
Who may participate and what is the cost?
All benefit eligible employees (including ACA eligible) are encouraged to participate in one (1) free confidential Biometric Screening per academic year. If you would like to participate in more than one a year, the cost is $35 for each additional screening. Employees can register online for any available upcoming screenings. Spouses of employees may also participate, for a low cost of $35.
Why should I participate?
An annual assessment of an individual's health can provide valuable insight on your current health and identify potential health concerns. According to the CDC, Seventy-five percent of health care costs are attributed to chronic preventable conditions. Biometric Screenings help identify risk for chronic preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Individuals can then work with their doctor, or a Nurse Health Coach, to identify strategies for improved health and well-being, making health assessments a proven way to save on future health care expenses.
Who receives my results? Is this service confidential?
Only MercyOne Wellness Services receives your individual results. All information obtained through your participation is treated as privileged and confidential and will not be released or revealed to any individual or organization outside of MercyOne without your expressed and written consent. MercyOne will mail your results to your home address. You should receive your results approximately 10 days following the screening. UNI and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield do not receive your individual results. Aggregate data is provided to UNI to assist in planning future wellness programs and services.
What is a Biometric Screening and what is included?
A Biometric Screening is a quick health assessment that determines your overall health and assesses your risk for health concerns. The Biometric Screenings offered through UNI Employee Well-being are performed by wellness professionals through MercyOne Wellness Services. Individual screenings take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
Each Confidential Screening Includes:
- Body Composition
This includes height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). BMI is an indicator of the amount of body fat for most people. It is used as a screening tool to identify whether an adult is at a healthy weight and height for their body type.
- Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) which may lead to heart attacks and strokes. Visit the American Heart Association to learn more about acceptable blood pressure levels.
- Complete Blood Profile
This test includes Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, Glucose, BUN, Creatinine, Calcium, AST, Iron, Total Blood Platelet Count, WBC, and RBC. For further explanation of this test, review the blood test page.
Tests Available for Additional Cost:
- Thyroid Screening (Cost: $20)
Thyroid screenings are helpful for identifying problems with the thyroid gland. Many people who have issues with their thyroid gland experience fatigue and weight gain, or weight loss and feelings of nervousness or hyperactivity. To look at the ranges for thyroid tests, click here.
- Prostate Screening PSA (Cost: $20)
Prostate cancer screening can help identify cancer early on, when treatment will be most effective. Organizations that recommend PSA screening, generally, encourage the test for men between the ages of 40 and 70, and for men with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Click here for more information about this test.
- Hemoglobin A1C (Cost: $20)
The A1C test results give a picture of the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2-3 months. The hemoglobin A1C test may be used to screen for, and diagnose, diabetes and prediabetes in adults. This can also be used to help diabetics and their healthcare providers know if the measures that are being taken to control their diabetes are successful or need to be adjusted. Click here to learn about appropriate levels of A1C.
Vitamin & Mineral Testing
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to health conditions and reduce the body’s ability to fight off infectious diseases. It is important if you learn a vitamin is deficient to work with a healthcare professional on appropriate amounts of supplements and to retest after a period of supplementation to ensure the deficiency is properly treated.
- Vitamin D (Cost $30)
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning the vitamin dissolves in fat and is stored in tissue to be later used by the body when needed. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and therefore assists in maintaining healthy bone density. It also plays a role in maintaining proper immune function and reduction of inflammation in the body. We obtain Vitamin D naturally through the absorption of direct sunlight (UV rays) and small amounts may be obtained through eating fatty fish such as salmon, and eggs (with yolk). Because it can be difficult to absorb direct sunlight in the northern hemisphere during the months of November - March, additional vitamin supplementation may be needed during this time. It is recommended you consult with a healthcare professional prior to beginning any supplementation.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Additional information on Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12 (Cost $15)
Vitamin B12, also known as folate, is a water soluble vitamin that helps the body maintain appropriate levels of red blood cells, nerve functions, and assists in making DNA in all cells. It also helps prevent anemia. Since B12 is water soluble it is not stored in the body and needs to be consumed on a regular basis. Vitamin B12 is easily obtained in the diet through animal products like dairy and meat. Those that maintain vegan diets, individuals with gastrointestinal disorders, and individuals with Type 2 Diabetes are at an increased risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency and may require supplementation. It is recommended you consult with a healthcare professional prior to the beginning of any supplementation.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Additional information on Vitamin B12
- Magnesium (Cost $10)
Magnesium is a mineral readily found in the body and used by the body in over 300 processes including muscle contractions, nerve and neurological functions, and maintaining heart rhythm. A variety of foods contain magnesium but almonds, spinach, peanuts, and black beans are all good sources. Many groups may be at risk for a magnesium deficiency including individuals with gastrointestinal disorders, type 2 diabetes, older adults, and people with alcohol dependence. Magnesium deficiency may increase your risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Too much magnesium from supplementation can be toxic and can lead to heart palpitations and cardiac arrest. It is recommended you consult with a healthcare professional prior to the beginning of any supplementation.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Additional Information on Magnesium
Nurse Health Coaching
Participants have the opportunity to schedule a session with a nurse health coach. The nurse health coach will be available to review screening results, and answer questions employees may have on their results. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss any general health questions they may have with the nurse health coaches. For more information, see the bios on the nurses who will be conducting the health coaching sessions at UNI. Participants will be able to sign up for a session during the Biometric Screening.
For additional information on Biometric Screenings or Nurse Health Coaching, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1Q. How long does the screening take?
1A: It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the screening.
- 2Q: Can I request additional tests my doctor recommends?
2A: Yes, email email@example.com with requests. Employee Well-being will find out if the test can be offered, and the cost.
- 3Q: Are students eligible to participate?
3A: No, UNI students are not eligible to participate and should contact the Student Health Center for information on the services available to students.
- 4Q: Do I have to have all of the tests performed?
4A: No. We encourage employees to participate in all tests (blood pressure, body composition and blood profile) to give you a more accurate picture of your health, but you may decline to participate in certain parts of the screening.
- 5Q: Do I need to fast for the screening?
5A: Yes. You are required to fast 10 hours prior to your appointment. You may drink water, black coffee or tea (no cream or sugar). Take medications as usual.
- 6Q: Who will see my results?
6A: Your results are confidential. MercyOne is responsible for maintaining your health records. You may sign-up for MercyOne’s secure electronic record system to view and maintain your results. Visit MercyOne MyChart for additional information.
UNI will receive an aggregate report from MercyOne. Please note: you will be contacted by a health care professional at MercyOne if your lab values are considered "critical".
- 7Q: Will participation in the screening affect my health insurance premiums?
7A: No. Biometric Screenings are not tied to or paid from UNI health insurance accounts.
- 8Q: When will I receive my results?
8A: Your results will be mailed to your home address approximately 7-10 days following the screening. You may also view them through the MercyOne MyChart.
- 9Q: Will my results be sent to my physician's office?
9A: No. However, we encourage you to bring your report to your next health care provider visit or send the office a copy of the results. If your physician is through MercyOne they will be able to review your results through your electronic chart, "MercyOne MyChart."
- 10Q: What if I can't attend an on-campus screening?
10A: Employees can access the Walk-In Wellness Lab Screening anytime throughout the year to manage your health. This service is provided by MercyOne Occupational Medicine. Visit the Walk-In Wellness Lab Screening page for information on the location and cost of this service.
- 11Q: Are instant finger prick screenings available?
11A: No. We have chosen not to offer these because they are not as accurate as a full blood draw and do not provide the same testing options as a complete blood profile.
- 12Q. Can I use health care FSA dollars to pay for my additional testing?
12A: Yes, you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses incurred from additional testing. Learn more: https://hrs.uni.edu/wellbeing/healthyweight/fsawellness