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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: August 10, 2010
Much Lower Healthcare Costs For Incentive-Based Wellness Program Participants

A study examining the medical claims data of nearly 950,000 adult members of Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private insurer, over the course of one year has found that members who participated in fitness-related activities with an incentive-based health insurance wellness program had significantly lower healthcare costs, according to a press release.

The program, called Vitality, includes more than 62 percent of Discovery Health members. In the United States, the health improvement program is known independently as The Vitality Group.

Costs per member, along with admission rates, were found to be decreased based on activity level (lower costs and admission rates with higher levels of engagement in the Vitality health promotion program).

"Although more research will need to be done, this study is encouraging as it shows a positive correlation between engagement in health promotion and lower healthcare costs," said Dr. Deepak N. Patel, of the University of Cape Town, lead author and clinical specialist with Discovery Health. "The rise in incidence of chronic disease and associated healthcare costs is unsustainable."

"Incentive-based wellness programs are designed to change behaviors and improve the health of their members," said Arthur C. Carlos, CEO of The Vitality Group. "By improving health in a sustainable way, it is possible to reduce costs over the long-term."

Results of the study are published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Address: The Vitality Group, 200 West Monroe Chicago, Suite 2100, IL 60606; (312) 224-7100,

  This article was taken from:
Wellness Program Management Advisor

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