Health insurance premiums have risen faster than inflation for the past 10 years, placing an increasing burden on employer-sponsors of health insurance and their employees. Some employers have become proactive in managing healthcare costs and improving healthcare quality by providing tools that engage employees and their dependents in their healthcare. One example is DASH for Health, an internet-based nutrition and exercise behavior modification program offered by a team of health scientists at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM).
Program participants can login and get weekly information about how to improve their nutrition and exercise habits. Employees enter detailed information about their diet, blood pressure and weight and the website provides nutrition and exercise information tailored to their needs. The program also provides personalized progress reports to document the participant's development.
As part of the DASH for Health Study, the researchers focused on employees at the EMC Corporation to determine whether an internet-based behavior modification program like DASH for Health had any effect on healthcare costs.
Among the cardiovascular risk study subjects, healthcare costs were $827 lower, on average, during the study year. “In an earlier study we found that people who enroll in the DASH for Health program lose weight, lower their blood pressure and improve their eating habits. This study adds the important finding that this internet-based program can also reduce healthcare costs," Thomas Moore, MD, director of the Office of Clinical Research at BUSM said.
MEDICA.de; Source: Boston University School of Medicine