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Economic Impact of the BP DownShift Program on Blood Pressure Control Among Commercial Driver License Employees

Greene, Beth L. BA; Miller, Jeffrey D. MS; Brown, T Michelle PhD; Harshman, Robert S. MD; Richerson, Gerald T. AET, BSE; Doyle, Joseph J. RPh, MBA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 5 - p 542-553
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a2fec7
Original Articles

Objective: To assess the economic impact of a hypertension educational and awareness program (“BP Downshift”) on improvement in blood pressure among commercial driver license (CDL) employees in a large southeastern U.S. electric utility company.

Methods: An economic simulation model was developed to evaluate the costs/cost savings the company realized from implementation of the BP DownShift Program in terms of changes in work productivity, CDL certification status, hypertension treatment, cardiovascular disease events, and diabetes care.

Results: Model results showed a 16.3% (more than $540,000) reduction in costs for a sample of 499 CDL employees over 2 years. On a per-employee basis, 2-year cost savings were estimated to be $1084, or $542 annually.

Conclusions: Study results will interest employers who are considering using disease management and health promotion programs to control costs of hypertension and other chronic illnesses.

From Abt Bio Pharma Solutions, Inc. (Ms Greene, Mr Miller, Dr Brown), Lexington, Mass; Georgia Power/Southern Company (Dr Harshman, Mr Richerson), Atlanta, Ga; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Mr Doyle), East Hanover, NJ.

Address correspondence to: T. Michelle Brown, PhD, Abt Bio-Pharma Solutions, Inc., 181 Spring Street, Lexington, MA 02421; E-mail: michelle.brown@abtbiopharma.com.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine