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Quantifiable Impact of the Contract for Health and Wellness: Health Behaviors, Health Care Costs, Disability, and Workers’ Compensation

Stave, Gregg M. MD, JD, MPH; Muchmore, Lamont MBA; Gardner, Harold MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 2 - p 109-117
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000052952.59271.a8
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CME Article #1
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Learning Objectives 
  • Distinguish between employers’ and employees’ prerogatives in setting up the Contract for Health and Wellness program.
  • Identify the degree of employer participation in the program, and the changes in health behaviors documented in the course of the 4-year study.
  • Comment on the cost savings realized by the company from the Contract program, and the chief underlying reason or reasons for these savings.

Distinguish between employers’ and employees’ prerogatives in setting up the Contract for Health and Wellness program.Identify the degree of employer participation in the program, and the changes in health behaviors documented in the course of the 4-year study.Comment on the cost savings realized by the company from the Contract program, and the chief underlying reason or reasons for these savings. Current literature about the long-term impacts of corporate health and wellness programs has brought to light new evidence about the cost savings associated with health-promotion interventions. A critical element in these initiatives is attracting the participation of employees at risk for high benefits use. This study presents evidence that suggests accomplishing this task has economic savings implications to large employers. A health and wellness intervention program offered at GlaxoSmithKline, entitled the Contract for Health and Wellness, is examined. Focusing on a group of 6049 employees, the study examines the impact on health behaviors and on integrated health benefits use of this continuously employed population from 1996 to 2000. Total benefits costs are examined for participants and nonparticipants, and the annual savings associated with the isolated impact of the program are, on average, $613 per participant. Reductions in disability costs accounted for the majority of these savings.

From GlaxoSmithKline (Dr Stave); and Options and Choices, Inc., Cheyenne, WY (Mr Muchmore and Dr Gardner).

Address correspondence to: Lamont Muchmore, MBA, Options and Choices, Inc., 2232 Dell Range Boulevard, Suite 300, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009; E-mail: lamont–muchmore@oci.com.

Lamont Muchmore serves as a consultant for Glaxo SmithKline.

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine