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A Return-on-Investment Analysis of the Health Promotion Program At the University of Minnesota

Nyman, John A. PhD; Barleen, Nathan A. BA; Dowd, Bryan E. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 1 - p 54-65
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818aab8d
Original Articles: Special Section on Climate Change and Health

Objective: To determine the return-on-investment, if any, for the health promotion program adopted by the University of Minnesota in 2006.

Methods: Regression analysis was used to determine the cost-savings in annual health care expenditures associated with three components of the program: a risk assessment, a risk management program, and a disease management (DM) program. Differences-in-differences equations with random effects were used to deal with selection bias.

Results: The analysis suggests that the DM reduced spending by about $1375 per year for each participant. The risk assessment and risk management components had no effect on spending in this initial year.

Conclusions: DM reduced health care spending at the University of Minnesota, but not enough to generate a positive return-on-investment. A number of factors may qualify this conclusion.

From the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.

Address correspondence to: John A. Nyman, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware St. SE, Box 729, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0392; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine