Workplace wellness programs can lower health care costs in workers with chronic diseases, but components of the programs that encourage workers to adopt healthier lifestyles may not reduce health costs or lead to lower net savings, according to a new research study.
Following a large employee wellness program sponsored PepsiCo, the study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that “efforts to help employees manage chronic illnesses saved $3.78 in health care costs for every $1 invested in the effort.”
However, the program’s lifestyle management components that encourage healthy living did not deliver returns that were higher than the costs, the researchers found.
“The PepsiCo program provides a substantial return for the investment made in helping employees manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. Soeren Mattke, the study’s senior author and a senior natural scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
“But the lifestyle management component of the program — while delivering benefits — did not provide more savings than it cost to offer,” he continued.
With any prevention effort, it is often “easier to achieve cost savings in Continue reading