The ShapeUp employer survey found that employers are increasingly skeptical about health risk assessments. An evocative infographic summarizing the survey results shows that, if employers’ wellness budgets were cut in half, HRAs would be programs they’d be most likely to cut. Three times as many respondents would eliminate their HRAs, for example, compared to those that would eliminate health coaching. Approximately 50% of respondents “do not believe in HRA.”
But some of the survey respondents’ comments — as well as much of the employee wellness literature — reveals that employers Continue reading
Are health risk assessments effective? Three systematic reviews have sought to answer this question.
Technology Assessment: HRA (click to access the pdf)
One of the most rigorous and most recent analyses, Health Risk Assessment: Technology Report, conducted by McMaster University Evidence-based Practice Center for Agency for the Healthcare Research and Quality, examined 118 studies of health outcomes associated with HRAs. The report concluded:
Many HRA programs demonstrated improvements on intermediate health outcomes such as blood pressure, cholesterol, physical activity, or fat intake. However, only one article considered Continue reading
Health risk appraisals are used to serve several purposes, with varying levels of success. In addition to identifying employees with health risk factors, HRAs also are commonly used to predict health care costs based on the health risks and chronic conditions they measure. And, as a logical next step, they also are used to predict potential for health care cost savings. For example, an HRA vendor’s analysis of aggregate data may state something like, “Based on your group’s profile, you will pay an estimated 4 million dollars based on excess health risk next year.” (This is a mild oversimplification of what a report might really include.) They’ll go on to say, “You can save x millions of dollars by reducing health risk.” They may say you can save money by Continue reading