To assess the influence of health risk change on changes in health care costs.
Multivariate regression models examined change in health care costs concurrent with and following completion of two health assessments (HAs) approximately 1 year apart. Final models examined changes in costs for individuals with and without chronic conditions.
After controlling for chronic condition status, health risk changes between the first and second HA were associated with health care cost changes in the year following the second HA. Those with chronic conditions experienced reductions of $129 for each risk reduced and increases of $210 for each risk added.
Changes in health care costs were preceded by changes in health risk status, supporting the use of HA and biometric screening measures as leading indicators of the cost impact of health management programs.