The Impact of the Highmark Employee Wellness Programs on 4-Year Healthcare Costs

Highmark, Inc., 120 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3099, USA.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.63). 03/2008; 50(2):146-56. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181617855
Source: PubMed


To determine the return on investment (ROI) of Highmark Inc.'s employee wellness programs.
Growth curve analyses compared medical claims for participants of wellness programs versus risk-matched nonparticipants for years 2001 to 2005. The difference was used to define savings. ROI was determined by subtracting program costs from savings and alternative discount rates were applied in a sensitivity analysis.
Multivariate models estimated health care expenses per person per year as $176 lower for participants. Inpatient expenses were lower by $182. Four-year savings of $1,335,524 compared with program expenses of $808,403 yielded an ROI of $1.65 for every dollar spent on the program.
Using sophisticated methodology, this study suggests that a comprehensive health promotion program can lower the rate of health care cost increases and produce a positive ROI.

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Available from: Ron Goetzel
    • "Workplace culture in healthcare settings impacts on patients' and users' experience (Kennedy, 2001; Francis, 2010); the motivation, commitment and effectiveness of staff (Manley, 2001; 2004; Lok et al., 2005); evidence implementation and use in practice (Kitson et al., 1998; 2008; 2010; Rycroft- Malone et al., 2004); patient safety (NPSA, 2004); innovation uptake (Apekey et al., 2011) and productivity (Naydeck et al., 2008; Goetzel and Ozminkowski, 2008). The consequences of ineffective and toxic cultures have resulted in serious implications for patient outcomes (Kennedy, 2001; Francis, 2010); staff well-being, and also wastes valuable economic resources. "
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    • "However, that possibility has yet to be demonstrated by rigorous research. During the 2004-2008 interval., 7 of the 16 new studies (LoSasso, 2006; vanVonno, 2005; Chenoweth and Garrett, 2006; Pratt et al., 2007; Jordan et al., 2008; Ozminkowski et al., 2006; Naydeck, et al., 2008) reported positive ROI. All of these interventions focused on secondary prevention in an integrated population health model. "
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