Objective: To evaluate the relationship between modifiable health risks, and health and productivity related expenditures and predict cost savings from improvements in the health risk profile of a large US employer.
Methods: Information was collected on 11 modifiable health risks for active employees who completed a health assessment and enrolled in a noncapitated health plan. These risks were related to employer medical care costs and employee productivity. Multivariate analyses were performed to estimate costs associated with high risk, as well as potential savings from reducing risk prevalence among employees.
Results: Health risks with the greatest impact on total medical care costs included obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, high triglycerides, and inadequate exercise.
Conclusions: Modifiable health risks are associated with higher employer costs. Targeted programs that address these risks are expected to yield substantial savings.