Estimating the Return on Investment From a Health Risk Management Program Offered to Small Colorado-Based Employers

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Objective:To determine whether changes in health risks for workers in small businesses can produce medical and productivity cost savings.Methods:A 1-year pre- and posttest study tracked changes in 10 modifiable health risks for 2458 workers at 121 Colorado businesses that participated in a comprehensive worksite health promotion program. Risk reductions were entered into a return-on-investment (ROI) simulation model.Results:Reductions were recorded in 10 risk factors examined, including obesity (−2.0%), poor eating habits (−5.8%), poor physical activity (−6.5%), tobacco use (−1.3%), high alcohol consumption (−1.7%), high stress (−3.5%), depression (−2.3%), high blood pressure (−0.3%), high total cholesterol (−0.9%), and high blood glucose (−0.2%). The ROI model estimated medical and productivity savings of $2.03 for every $1.00 invested.Conclusions:Pooled data suggest that small businesses can realize a positive ROI from effective risk reduction programs.

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