Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
  |  Connect with Us: 
Text Size

Health News

Workplace Wellness Programs Work

Workplace Wellness Programs Work


MONDAY, Jan. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Wellness programs in the workplace help cut health care costs and reduce hospital admissions for employees with chronic illnesses, a new study suggests.

The researchers said, however, that workplace wellness programs that focused mostly on adopting a healthier lifestyle have less dramatic results.

"While workplace wellness programs have the potential to reduce health risks and cut health care spending, employers and policymakers should not take for granted that the lifestyle management components of the programs can reduce costs or lead to savings overall," study senior author Dr. Soeren Mattke, a senior natural scientist at RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization, said in a news release.

The study examined PepsiCo's Healthy Living wellness program over the course of seven years. Among the program components are health risk assessments and on-site wellness events. The company's wellness program also provides help with disease and lifestyle management, as well as a hotline that provides advice from a nurse.

The researchers assessed the experience of more than 67,000 employees who were eligible for the disease- and lifestyle-management programs.

The study, published in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs, found that the disease-management program alone resulted in a cost reduction of $136 per month and a 29 percent drop in hospital admissions among its participants. The researchers said every $1 invested in the wellness program saved $3.78 in health care costs.

The employees who participated in both the disease- and lifestyle-management program saved $160 each month. Hospital admissions among this group fell by 66 percent.

Although those who participated in the lifestyle-management program missed work less often, the program did not have a significant effect on health care costs.

"The PepsiCo program provides a substantial return for the investment made in helping employees manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease," Mattke said. "But the lifestyle-management component of the program, while delivering benefits, did not provide more savings than it cost to offer."

The researchers said it's usually easier to cut costs among those who spend more. Workers in the disease-management program who also participated in the lifestyle-management program had much higher savings.

Targeting lifestyle programs to those employees could improve their cost-saving benefit, the researchers said.

Workplace health and wellness programs have become increasingly common in the United States. The federal Affordable Care Act was designed to promote these programs in an attempt to reduce health care costs.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on workplace wellness programs.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Latest News

CNY Brain Aneurysm Awareness Campaign Raises Funds for Crouse Neuroscience Institute
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >