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Six-Year Cost Trends at PPG Industries Paralleling the Introduction of Health Promotion Programs Directed at Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Kowlessar, Niranjana M. PhD; Henke, Rachel PhD; Benevent, Richele MS; Tabrizi, Maryam MS; Colombi, Alberto M. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 5 - p 483–489
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31828dc8ab
Original Articles

Objective: Over the past several years, PPG Industries (PPG) implemented worksite health promotion programs aimed at improving employees' health and reducing overall medical costs as well as those specific to cardiovascular disease.

Methods: Using medical claims data, we examined trends in these costs among PPG employees for a 6-year period, from 2005 to 2010.

Results: Overall medical costs remained relatively flat, increasing by 1.2% compounded annually, unadjusted for inflation, while inflation-adjusted costs declined by 2.9%. Comparing worksites rated “high–high” on both program implementation and leadership support with worksites scoring highly on one or none of those dimensions, the “high–high” group experienced a decreasing cost trend, whereas the “other” group showed an increase.

Conclusions: The analysis suggests that PPG's efforts to reconfigure and intensify its wellness program offerings may have resulted lower health care cost trends.

From Health and Productivity Research (Dr Goetzel), Truven Health Analytics (Ms Tabrizi), Bethesda, Md; Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Dr Goetzel), Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Washington, DC; Social & Scientific Systems, Inc (Dr Kowlessar), Silver Springs, Md; Truven Health Analytics (Dr Henke), Cambridge, Mass; Truven Health Analytics (Ms Benevent), Santa Barbara, Calif; and PPG Industries (Dr Colombi) and School of Public Health (Dr Colombi), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Penn.

Address correspondence to: Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Consulting and Applied Research, Health and Productivity Research, Truven Health Analytics, 7700 Old Georgetown Rd, 6th floor, Bethesda, MD 20814 (

PPG Industries and Wellness Checkpoint provided funding for the preparation of this article.

The opinions expressed in this article are the authors' and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Truven Health Analytics, Emory University, Wellness Checkpoint, Social & Scientific Systems, University of Pittsburgh, or PPG Industries.

Authors Goetzel, Tabrizi, Kowlessar, Henke, Benevent, and Colombi have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine