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A 3-Year Assessment of the Effects of a Self-Administered Health Risk Assessment on Health Care Utilization, Costs, and Health Risks

Sieck, Cynthia J. PhD, MPH; Dembe, Allard E. ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 12 - p 1284–1290
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000348
Original Articles

Objective: This study examines the effect of taking a health risk assessment (HRA) on health care costs, utilization, and member health risks over a 3-year period.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study examined changes utilization, costs, and health risks among a random sample of 500 employees completing an HRA compared with a matched group of 500 employees who did not complete an HRA.

Results: The HRA group accessed services more frequently and at a lower overall cost, was more likely to utilize primary care and preventive services after the HRA, and improved on seven out of eight health risk measures.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that significant and sustained improvement in health risks and lower health care costs may be achievable with efforts such as an HRA that seeks to engage employees in health improvement efforts.

From the Department of Family Medicine (Dr Sieck), The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus; and Division of Health Services Management and Policy (Dr Dembe), Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies, The Ohio State University College of Public Health, Columbus.

Address correspondence to: Cynthia J. Sieck, PhD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 277 Northwood-High Bldg, 2231 North High St, Columbus, OH 43201 (

This research was supported by a grant from The Ohio State University Health Plan.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in this manuscript.

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