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Health Risk Reduction Programs in Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Part IEfficacy

Rothstein, Mark A. JD; Harrell, Heather L. MD, JD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 8 - pp 943-950
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181b05421
Original Articles

Objective: We sought to determine whether workplace health risk reduction programs (HRRPs) using health risk assessments (HRAs), individually focused risk reduction, and financial incentives succeeded in improving employee health and reducing employer health benefit costs.

Methods: We reviewed the proprietary HRA available to us and conducted a literature review to determine the efficacy of HRRPs using HRAs, individualized employee interventions, and financial incentives for employee participation.

Results: There is some evidence that HRRPs in employer-sponsored programs improve measures of employee health, but the results of these studies are somewhat equivocal.

Conclusion: Employer-sponsored HRRPs may have some benefits, but problems in plan design and in the studies assessing their efficacy complicate drawing conclusions.

From the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Ky.

Address correspondence to: Mark A. Rothstein, JD, Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine, 501 East Broadway 310, Louisville, KY 40202; E-mail: mark.rothstein@louisville.edu.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine