workplace wellness reduced cost

Study: ‘Healthiest Employees Cost Companies Half the Healthcare Costs’

Following on our podcast yesterday with with Chris Calitz, Director of the American Heart Association’s Center for Workplace Health Research and Evaluation (Podcast: For Health, Work is Where the Heart Is), a new report from the American Heart Association makes the direct link between employee health and reduced corporate cost:

Study: Healthiest employees cost companies half the healthcare costs.”

The post states: “The healthiest employees of Baptist Health South Florida incurred thousands of dollars less in healthcare costs and were less likely to be hospitalized or visit an emergency department than employees with moderate or poor health.”

It continues: “The study offers a compelling business case for employers who offer health insurance to invest in comprehensive workplace health and well-being programs and policies, said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention and a study co-author.”

The study was published by the Mayo Clinic and is titled “Favorable Cardiovascular Health Is Associated With Lower Health Care Expenditures and Resource Utilization in a Large US Employee Population.”

The participants and methods: “Employees of Baptist Health South Florida participated in a health risk assessment from January 1 through September 30, 2014. Information on dietary patterns, physical activity, blood pressure, blood glucose level, total cholesterol level, and smoking were collected. Participants were categorized into CVH [cardiovascular health] profiles using the American Heart Association’s ideal CVH construct as optimal (6-7 metrics), moderate (3-5 metrics), and low (0-2 metrics). Two-part econometric models were used to analyze health care expenditures.”

The connection between strong employee health and reduced employer costs was noted as well by Khurram Nasir, M.D., a cardiologist and study senior author.

The American Heart Association writes: “Optimizing the cardiovascular health of employees may translate into millions of dollars in healthcare savings for employers, said Nasir, also research director for the center for prevention and wellness at Baptist Health South Florida, based in Miami.”

Nasir added that “a significant portion of these healthcare costs were from conditions that could be prevented by better lifestyle choices.”

Our podcast guest and a study co-author Chris Calitz, also comments in the AHA post: ““These findings demonstrate that the Life’s Simple 7 framework is effective for employers to evaluate the cardiovascular health of their workforce and to engage employees to reach their optimal health.”

For your convenience, we’re reposting the podcast here: