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
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
"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, http://thevitalitygroup.com.