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Impact of a Comprehensive Population Health Management Program on Health Care Costs

Grossmeier, Jessica PhD, MPH; Seaverson, Erin L.D. MPH; Mangen, David J. PhD; Wright, Steven BS; Dalal, Karl MBA; Phalen, Chris; Gold, Daniel B. PhD, BBA

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: June 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 634–643
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318297306f
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Objective: Assess the influence of participation in a population health management (PHM) program on health care costs.

Methods: A quasi-experimental study relied on logistic and ordinary least squares regression models to compare the costs of program participants with those of nonparticipants, while controlling for differences in health care costs and utilization, demographics, and health status. Propensity score models were developed and analyses were weighted by inverse propensity scores to control for selection bias.

Results: Study models yielded an estimated savings of $60.65 per wellness participant per month and $214.66 per disease management participant per month. Program savings were combined to yield an integrated return-on-investment of $3 in savings for every dollar invested.

Conclusions: A PHM program yielded a positive return on investment after 2 years of wellness program and 1 year of integrated disease management program launch.

From StayWell Health Management (Dr Grossmeier, Ms Seaverson, and Mr Wright), Eagan, MN; Mangen Research Associates (Dr Mangen), Mound, MN; BP America (Mr Dalal and Mr Phalen), Houston, TX; and Mercer (Dr Gold), Minneapolis, MN.

Address correspondence to: Jessica Grossmeier, PhD, MPH, 3000 Ames Crossing Road, Suite 100, Eagan, MN 55121 (jessica.grossmeier@staywell.com).

Mercer was engaged by BP America to provide consulting services related to the evaluated program and to review the study conducted by Mangen Research Associates and StayWell, including providing input into the study design and providing recommendations on the interpretation of results. Mangen Research Associates was retained by StayWell to conduct the return-on-investment analysis but was not paid for manuscript development. StayWell Health Management received payment from BP America to provide the programs and services that were the subject of the study evaluation. Additional fees were not paid to StayWell Health Management to conduct the analysis or to prepare the study manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine