Publication
American Journal of Health Promotion
Paper

Ten Modifiable Health Risk Factors and Employees’ Medical Costs—An Update

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Abstract

Purpose: To estimate the relationship between employees’ health risks and health-care costs to inform health promotion program design. Design: An observational study of person-level health-care claims and health risk assessment (HRA) data that used regression models to estimate the relationship between 10 modifiable risk factors and subsequent year 1 health-care costs. Setting: United States. Participants: The sample included active, full-time, adult employees continuously enrolled in employer-sponsored health insurance plans contributing to IBM MarketScan Research Databases who completed an HRA. Study criteria were met by 135 219 employees from 11 employers. Measures: Ten modifiable risk factors and individual sociodemographic and health characteristics were included in the models as independent variables. Five settings of health-care costs were outcomes in addition to total expenditures. Analysis: After building the analytic file, we estimated generalized linear models and conducted postestimation bootstrapping. Results: Health-care costs were significantly higher for employees at higher risk for blood glucose, obesity, stress, depression, and physical inactivity (all at P <.0001) than for those at lower risk. Similar cost differentials were found when specific health-care services were examined. Conclusion: Employers may achieve cost savings in the short run by implementing comprehensive health promotion programs that focus on decreasing multiple health risks.

Date

15 Apr 2020

Publication

American Journal of Health Promotion

Authors

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