Biometric screenings found to be more cost-effective when conducted on-site

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When properly integrated with a corporate wellness plan, research demonstrates that biometric screenings can help reduce health risks, improve health status, reduce healthcare costs, and improve workplace productivity and performance.

More employers are using wellness screening as part of their workplace wellness programs. Research shows that 74% of employers now include a biometric screening as part of their workplace wellness program and this number is likely to rise as more companies come to understand the value they can provide employees. Here’s a look at ways employers are using screenings to bring wellness to the workplace:

1. Provide a baseline. Learning a few numbers — through a health screening — tells your employees quite a bit about their health. A screening provides a baseline assessment of your employees’ health status regarding obesity, blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

2. Identify health risks. Screenings can help detect disease in its early and most treatable stages — even before symptoms are recognized — and provide a summary of a participant’s health that prompts them to take action.

3. Boost health and lower costs. Employers reported better health (37% greater health risk improvement) and financial outcomes (34% reported lower healthcare trend) when incorporating screenings into their corporate wellness program.

On-site health screenings or primary care provider-based screenings?

When it comes to health screenings, employers are faced with a choice: provide on-site screening services or send their employees to their primary care doctor or a lab.

On-site health screenings remove barriers for employee participation, such as perceived lack of time and inconvenience. On the other hand, screenings through alternative means, such as sending employees to their primary care provider, might be a good solution for employees who work remotely in several locations.

Even if you understand and appreciate the value of on-site health screenings, the question for employers remains: Is it more cost-effective to screen your employees on-site or send your employees to their primary care provider?

Recently, our science and analytics team set out to answer this question by analyzing medical claims data from employees at our client sites from 2007 to 2015. Using a per-capita cost of $65 for on-site screening, the team analyzed data and modeled the salary levels of employees — ranging from minimum wage to a six-figure salary.

The result? On-site screenings are consistently more cost-effective to employers than primary care provider-based screenings. Key findings include:

1. On-site health screening is more cost-effective than primary care provider-based health screening across all study years — from 2007 to 2015.

2. Health screening at a primary care provider may cost between 2.1 and 3.2 times more than an on-site health screening.

3. At all salary levels — from minimum wage to salaries of more than $150,000 — it is more cost-effective to use on-site health screening.

Our science and analytics team regularly partners with employers to help them make informed, fact-based decisions. The next phase of our research continues to focus on health screenings, with an emphasis on outcomes and projections.

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