The Business Case for Investing in Worksite Health Promotion
The ability of the US businesses to compete and be sustainable is threatened by health care costs.
- The fastest growing cost for employers are employee health benefits. For an average Fortune 500 company, overall health benefit costs are projected to exceed profits by 2008. 1
- The number of businesses offering health benefits is decreasing, from 69% in 2000 compared to 60% in 2009. 2
- The amount of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health care is projected to increase from 15.9% in 2003 to 19.3% in 2019. 3
- Health care costs will be impacted exponentially by health risks and chronic illnesses associated with an aging workforce. 4
Investments in prevention, health risk reduction and disease management programs have demonstrated returns on investment; and are a viable way for businesses to address the health of their employees and their bottom lines.
Savings per dollar invested in worksite health promotion programs.
From a review of 73 published studies of worksite health promotion programs 5
- Average $3.50-to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio in reduced absenteeism and health care costs.
From a meta-review of 56 published studies of worksite health promotion programs 6
- Average 27 percent reduction in sick leave absenteeism
- Average 26 percent reduction in health costs
- Average 32 percent reduction in workers' compensation and disability management claims costs
- Average $5.81-to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio
In a critical review of 12 new studies published between 2000 and 2004, all studies reported "favorable clinical and/or cost outcomes." 7
1 The McKinsey Quarterly. Will health benefits eclipse profits? Available at: www.mckinseyquarterly.com/newsletters/chartfocus/2004_09.htm. Accessed April 10, 2007.
2 Kaiser Family Foundation. Employer health benefits: 2009 annual survey. Available at: www.ehbs.kff.org/pdf/2009/7936.pdf . Accessed February 4, 2010.
3 Truffer C, Keehan S, Smith S, Cylus J, Sisko A, Poisal J, Lizonitz J., and Clements M. U.S. health spending projections through 2019: The Recession’s Impact Continues. Health Affairs. March 2010: 2.
4 Garret N, Martini M. Labor force projections to 2016: more workers in their golden years. Monthly Labor Review. November 2007:33-52
5 Aldana SG. Financial impact of health promotion programs: a compre¬hensive review of the literature. Am J Health Promotion. 2001;15(5):296-320.
6 Chapman LS. Meta-evaluation of worksite health promotion economic return studies: 2005 Update. Am J Health Promotion. 2005 Jul-Aug;19(6):1-11.
7 Pelletier KR. A review and analysis of the clinical and cost-effectiveness studies of comprehensive health promotion and disease management programs at the worksite: update VI 2000-2004. J Occup Environ Med. 2005;47(10): 1051-1058.