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Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings

  • Baicker, Katherine
  • Cutler, David M.
  • Song, Zirui
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    With health care expenditures soaring, there is increasing interest in workplace-based disease prevention and health promotion as a means of improving health while lowering costs. We conduct a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated such programs, focusing on studies with particularly rigorous methods and examining effects on health care costs and absenteeism. We find that medical costs fall about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. This average return on investment suggests that the wider adoption of such programs could prove beneficial for budgets and productivity as well as health outcomes.

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/5345879/Workplace%20Wellness%20Programs.pdf
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    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 5345879.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Publication status: Published in Health Affairs
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:5345879
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    Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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    1. Sean Nicholson & Mark V. Pauly & Daniel Polsky & Catherine M. Baase & Gary M. Billotti & Ronald J. Ozminkowski & Marc L. Berger & Claire E. Sharda, 2005. "How to Present the Business Case for Healthcare Quality to Employers," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 4(4), pages 209-218.
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