Do Workplace Wellness Programs Reduce Medical Costs?

Evidence from a Fortune 500 Company

Published in: Inquiry, v. 50 no. 2, May 2013, p. 150-158

Posted on RAND.org on May 01, 2013

by Harry H. Liu, Soeren Mattke, Katherine M. Harris, Sarah Weinberger, Seth Serxner, John P. Caloyeras, Ellen Exum

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The recent passage of the Affordable Care Act has heightened the importance of workplace wellness programs. This paper used administrative data from 2002 to 2007 for PepsiCo's self-insured plan members to evaluate the effect of its wellness program on medical costs and utilization. We used propensity score matching to identify a comparison group who were eligible for the program but did not participate. No significant changes were observed in inpatient admissions, emergency room visits, or per-member per-month (PMPM) costs. The discrepancy between our findings and those of prior studies may be due to the difference in intervention intensity or program implementation.

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