- If you reduce health risks, lower costs begin accruing very quickly. In fact, there was a reduction in health care costs in the same year risks decreased. Coupled with prior research showing employers can "break even" on their wellness investment in year two and achieve up to a 3:1 ROI in year three, this immediate savings from risk reduction makes the financial case for prevention even stronger.
- The financial implications for prevention may be even greater than for risk reduction. For every health risk added, costs increased by 45 percent above the cost savings that resulted from eliminating a risk. This means that if organizations prevent individuals from adding new health risks over time, their cost savings will be greater than if they focus on eliminating a health risk after it emerges.
- A long-term solution is better than a quick fix. In this study, a greater immediate savings was realized from reducing health risks for people with chronic conditions than for the average employee. After controlling for differences in age, gender and company, those with chronic conditions who added health risks doubled the cost burden compared to those without a chronic condition. Cost savings were four times greater for those with chronic conditions compared to those without chronic conditions. The study authors stressed that although there always will be a highest-cost group, an ongoing focus on prevention can benefit the entire population by avoiding chronic disease altogether in some cases or slowing the progression and diminishing the severity of chronic disease. All of these potential outcomes from prevention will improve the company's total health care spend.
New Research Shows That Prevention Is Key To Reducing Health Care Costs For All Employees, Even Those With Chronic Conditions
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