Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Evaluation of a Comprehensive Employee Wellness Program at an Organization With a Consumer-Directed Health Plan

Burton, Wayne N. MD; Chen, Chin-Yu PhD; Li, Xingquan MS; Schultz, Alyssa B. PhD; Kasiarz, David PhD; Edington, Dee W. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 4 - p 347–353
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000121
Original Articles

Objective: Consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) are popular among employers in the United States. This study examined an employee wellness program and its association with employee health in an organization that recently initiated a CDHP.

Methods: This retrospective observational analysis compared the health risks, employer-paid health care costs, and short-term disability absences of employees of a large financial services corporation from 2009 to 2010.

Results: The two-time health risk appraisal participants had a significant improvement in the percentage of employees in the overall low-risk category. The average annual employer-paid medical and pharmacy costs did not significantly change. For employees who improved their health risk category, there was a commensurate change in costs and absences.

Conclusions: In a difficult economic climate, this organization began a health promotion program for employees as well as a new CDHP benefit structure. No short-term reduction in health care usage or overall health status was observed.

From the American Express Company (Drs Burton and Kasiarz), New York, NY; University of Michigan Health Management Research Center (Drs Chen, Schultz, and Edington and Mr Li); and Edington Associates (Dr Edington), Ann Arbor, Mich.

Address correspondence to: Wayne N. Burton, MD, American Express Company, 200 Vesey Street, New York City, NY 10285 (,

There have been no involvements that might raise the question of bias in the work reported or in the conclusions, implications, or opinions stated in this article.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine