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Costs Cut With Workplace Wellness Disease Management

Lifestyle management component may not yield same health care cost reductions

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Workplace wellness programs, particularly those with a disease management component, can reduce monthly health care costs for members, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

John P. Caloyeras, from the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., and colleagues evaluated the cost impact of the lifestyle and disease management components of PepsiCo's wellness program, Healthy Living.

The researchers found that seven years of continuous participation in one or both components (lifestyle and disease management) was associated with an average reduction of $30 in health care cost per member per month. Individually, only the disease management component was associated with lower costs. Health care costs may be reduced by an estimated $136 per member per month with disease management, driven by a 29 percent reduction in hospital admissions.

"Workplace wellness programs may reduce health risks, delay or avoid the onset of chronic diseases, and lower health care costs for employees with manifest chronic disease," the authors write.

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