Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Financial impact of modifiable health risk factors in a state health plan population

Rhonda K. Jaster, MPH, Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH, Jennifer L. Shaw, MAP, MPH, and Sathiska D. Pinidiya, MS, MEd. CDC Public Health Prevention Specialist Field Assignment, Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, 1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 300, Victory Building, Little Rock, AR 72201, 501-526-2239, rkjaster@uams.edu

Background: Previous data links high medical costs to tobacco use. In contrast, there is less evidence connecting high medical claims costs with overweight/obesity or lack of physical activity. Objective: Determine the medical costs related to tobacco use, obesity, and physical inactivity among Arkansas state employees using self-reported Health Risk Assessment (HRA) responses indicating individual risk factors. Methods: De-identified medical claim costs for employees and spouses in the State of Arkansas Health Plan were used. Those who self-identified as having one or more risk factor (e.g., tobacco use, body mass index (BMI) ≥30, and <3 days/week of physical activity) were compared with covered employees and spouses in the same plan who self-identified as not having any of the above-mentioned risk factors. Total medical claims costs to the plan (September 2004-October 2005) were analyzed. Results: HRA respondents with self-identified BMIs ≥30, <3 days/week of physical activity, or tobacco use incurred higher medical claims costs than respondents with no risk factors. Notably, the average total annual cost for individuals with none of the three risk factors was $1,840, while total annual cost for respondents with combined BMI ≥30 and <3 days/week of physical activity was $2,534. Conclusion: Improving individual health behaviors may help decrease medical claim costs. Similar to tobacco control program support over the past decade, physical activity, weight management and nutrition programs need as much attention in order to change personal behavior. Education, support, and incentives should be emphasized within the population studied.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participants will be able to

Keywords: Health Assessment, Cost Issues

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

The Economics of Health and Health Services II

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA