ANN ARBOR — The introduction of a health risk management program resulted in reductions of 10 key health risk factors and ultimately lowered employer health spending and improved worker productivity, according to a new study conducted by Ann Arbor-based Truven Health Analytics and partners.
The study, “Estimating the Return on Investment from a Health Risk
Management Program Offered to Small Colorado-Based Employers,” examined changes in 10 modifiable health risks — obesity, poor eating habits, poor physical activity, tobacco use, high alcohol consumption, high stress, depression, high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, and high blood glucose — for 2,458 workers at 121 small businesses participating in the Pinnacol Assurance HRM program between May 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012.
The researchers found significant reductions in rates of obesity (down 2 percent), poor diet ( down 5.8 percent), physical inactivity (down 6.5 percent), tobacco use (down 1.3 percent), high alcohol consumption (down 1.7 percent), high stress (down 3.4 percent), and depression (down 2.3 percent).
Partners in the study included the University of Colorado School fo Public Health, the Colorado workers’ compensation insurer Pinnacol Assurance and the Wisconsin health risk management firm Trotter Wellness.
“The Affordable Care Act has motivated employers to introduce new care delivery models, some of which are predicated on the notion that a healthy workforce leads to lower medical spending and higher worker productivity,” said Ron Goetzel, Ph.D., vice president of consulting and applied research at Truven Health Analytics, senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and lead author of the study. “This study shows how
small businesses that pool their resources to create healthy company cultures can help workers improve their health, and their organizations benefit as well.”
Overall, the model used by the researchers found that employers saved an estimated $2.03 for every $1.00 they invested in the HRM program.
Truven also announced an agreement iwth Cerner Corp. to resell Cerner’s Micromedex CareNotes product, a part of the Patient Connect Suite of patient and consumer education and engagement products. The evidence-based, health literacy standardized resources in CareNotes will be accessible directly from Cerner’s EHR by clinicians in Acute Care and Ambulatory facilities and will include resources for the Emergency Department, Inpatient Discharge Instructions, General Health Summaries, Pre-care, Inpatient, Laboratory and Medication Education, among other tools
and content, in multiple languages.
The addition of CareNotes allows clinicians using Cerner in virtually any care setting to access, from within Cerner applications, trusted, evidence-based Micromedex CareNotes patient education resources.
CareNotes can be used by provider organizations for to meet federal regulations for electronic health systems, and the integrated access helps clinicians increase efficiency, adoption, and use of relevant, meaningful education for patients and family members.
More at www.truvenhealth.com.