Health promotion strategy lowers healthcare expenditure
To assess the effect of a health promotion programme on healthcare costs over time.
1,892 US-based employees who participated in an online and onsite health promotion programme between 2002 and 2005; a risk-matched group of 1,892 nonparticipants were used as a control.
Medical claims cost data were compared before programme initiation and at study end for participants and nonparticipants.
- The total cost of healthcare grew more slowly between 2001 and 2005, and annual healthcare costs were lower for those who joined the wellness programme than for nonparticipants.
- programme participation was associated with a statistically significant saving of US$176.47 per person per year.
- Over the four-year study $1.3 million was saved, which when compared with programme expenses of $808,403 yielded a return on investment of $1.65 for every $1 invested.
What does this mean?
Work-based health promotion strategies can lower future healthcare costs and are associated with a positive return on investment, which should encourage employers to take a proactive stance in lowering their employees' health risks.