Corporate Wellness Incentives Reduce Costs
Corporate wellness programs that offer employees rewards can help significantly reduce the cost of health care, according to a new report released this week. Data shows that wellness incentive programs result in company savings-to-cost ratios of more than $3 saved on health care costs for each $1 invested. "Less than one in five employees will participate in wellness programs that do not offer rewards," said Rodger Stotz, spokesperson for the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), which published the report. "This changes dramatically when incentives are offered – four in five will participate. Clearly all businesses should consider this when looking at their wellness efforts."
The report, which examines existing research and case studies regarding workplace wellness programs, also cites the success of specific companies. For example, IRF research shows Johnson & Johnson saves an estimated $9 million to $10 million in health care costs every year as a result of its wellness program. Data also shows Citibank realizes a health care cost savings of up to $4.73 for each dollar it spends through its health management program. Finally, IRF says Union Pacific Railroad's medical self-care program achieved cost savings of $2.78 for every dollar invested by reducing inappropriate emergency room and outpatient visits.
"The U.S. is spending about $2.5 trillion per year on health care," Stotz said. "As much as 75% of that is spent on preventable conditions, so the potential savings through preventative health care measures that include workplace wellness programs could be as high as $1.9 trillion per year. And this doesn't even consider productivity gains or worker quality of life improvements."
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Posted on Wed, September 7, 2011
by Kurt McDowell filed under