Medical Care Savings From Workplace Wellness Programs: What Is a Realistic Savings Potential?

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | January 2013

Background: Workplace wellness programs have become increasingly popular despite large inconsistencies in the analyses of their ability to produce long-term medical care savings.

Objective: To clarify the aforesaid situation by estimating potential long-term medical care savings linked to chronic disease.

Methods: We combined data from the Global Burden of Disease Study and Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys to estimate the annual savings that would result from lowering risk factors typically managed by workplace wellness programs to their theoretical minimums.

Results: Lowering risk factors to their theoretical minimums, if this were possible, would reduce average annual costs per working-age adult by 18.4%.

Conclusion: These findings have important implications for workplace wellness programs because they provide a robust estimate of potential savings.

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