The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

018: A Better Way to Select a Wellness Vendor with Joe Miller, Co-Founder of the Wellness Research Institute & Shortlister


Love them or hate them, wellness vendors are common in the employer market. There are a ton of wellness vendors out there and chances are your employer is currently using one or has used one in the past. Often wellness vendors are seen as filling a needed gap but how do you wade through all of your options?

There are so many wellness vendors it’s hard to keep track and understand the key value propositions of each company. The standard process for employers selecting a wellness vendor is a very painful one, where there’s a long set of questions the vendor completes and an employer or consultant tries to compare each one and make a recommendation. If you’ve ever done this it’s a truly painful process that today’s guest set out to solve.

In this episode, I talk to Joe Miller. Joe is the co-founder of the Wellness Research Institute and Shortlister. Wellness Research Institute is being rebranded into Shortlister in October 2016. Shortlister will include vendors outside of wellness, such as Benefits Administration and ACA compliance.

Joe ran a wellness company from 2003 to 2013 and felt that as a vendor that the RFP process didn’t tell the whole story of what his company did. Also, he realized the process brokers/consultants were using to keep up with wellness vendors was inefficient. Joe left that company to start the Wellness Institute.

Joe describes his company as the or eHarmony of vendors, using a matching survey with 20 questions including goals, message, philosophies, and demographics.

In this episode, Joe and I talk about:

  • How the vendors aren’t moving as fast as the market wants it to.
  • What an employer should look for when selecting a wellness vendor.
  • The key things to do to create a successful partnership
  • His advice for vendors to distinguish themselves from other vendors

Company links: or

Info on their change to Shortlister:

Joe’s bio:

Joe is the co-founder of the Wellness Research Institute ( and Shortlister (  These programs are being used by over two-thirds of the top employee benefits consultants in the US and in 2015 helped employers representing well over 1M lives find the optimal vendors to fit their needs.

Joe has spent the last 15 years designing and implementing innovative programs in the human capital space, mostly around employee health and productivity.  Prior to his current roles, he was co-founder and Managing Director of a mid-market wellness provider in the Midwest.  Joe is a graduate of the University of Illinois and when he isn’t working enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys.