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Association of Worksite Wellness Center Attendance With Weight Loss and Health Care Cost Savings: Mayo Clinic's Experience

Borah, Bijan J. PhD; Egginton, Jason S. MPH; Shah, Nilay D. PhD; Wagie, Amy E. MHA; Olsen, Kerry D. MD; Yao, Xiaoxi PhD; Lopez-Jimenez, Francisco MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 3 - p 229–234
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000392
Original Articles

Objective: To assess the impact of wellness center attendance on weight loss and costs.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using employee data, administrative claims, and electronic health records. A total of 3199 employees enrolled for 4 years (2007 to 2010) were included. Attendance was categorized as follows: 1 to 60, 61 to 180, 181 to 360, and more than 360 visits. Weight loss was defined as moving to a lower body mass index category. Total costs included paid amounts for both medical and pharmacy services.

Results: Subjects with 181 to 360 and more than 360 visits were 46% (P = 0.05) and 72% (P = 0.01) more likely to have body mass index improvement compared with those with 1 to 60 visits. Compared with the mean annual cost of $13,267 for 1 to 60 visits, the mean for subjects with 61 to 180, 181 to 360, and more than 360 visits had significantly lower costs at $9538, $9332 and $8293, respectively (all P < 0.01). Higher attendance was associated with weight loss and significantly lower annual costs.

From the Division of Health Care Policy and Research (Dr Borah, Dr Shah, Ms Wagie, and Dr Yao), Department of Health Sciences; Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery (Dr Borah, Mr Egginton, and Dr Shah); Cardiovascular Division (Dr Lopez-Jimenez), Department of Medicine; Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Dr Olsen); and Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center (Mr Egginton, Dr Olsen, and Dr Lopez-Jimenez), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Address correspondence to: Bijan J. Borah, PhD, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St S.W., Rochester, MN 55905 (

Authors Borah, Egginton, Shah, Wagie, Olsen, Yao, and Lopez-Jimenez 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.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine