According to this news story in the Sioux City Journal, it looks like by paying about 300 of its 415 employees to participate in annual health screenings, Sioux City, IA, was apparently able to save $645,000, or about $2150/participant, all in the first two years.
This is equivalent to avoiding all the Agency for Health Quality and Research’s “preventable admissions” for all the participants, plus all the non-participants, plus their spouses, plus about 1000 of their closest friends. Naturally nobody checked to see if a single preventable admission was avoided, or even made a list of preventable admissions that could be avoided through wellness. What fun would that be when you can simply attribute all the savings to the wellness program?
This item was also posted to a linkedin group by someone who wrote: “Proof that wellness works.” No doubt this was shorthand for: “Proof that people who point to this as proof that wellness works should not attempt to do proofs that wellness works.”
This is just one of the many, many case studies highlighted in Why Nobody Believes the Numbers demonstrating that, as far as healthcare cost reduction is concerned, the entire wellness industry is made up. Cracking Health Costs will burst this bubble altogether.
Tom Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting, LLC, and Partner and Chief Strategy Officer with Laurus Strategies, a Chicago-based consulting firm, and cofounder of Edison Health. Prior to starting his consulting career, Tom was with Walmart Stores, where his last position was Vice President, Global Benefit Design, which involved designing and managing benefits for over 1.3 million employees in the U.S., and 300,000 plus in international. For about six years, Tom also headed up Walmart’s Six Sigma and process improvement initiatives. Prior to Walmart, Tom had positions with Burger King Corporation, British Petroleum, and American Fidelity Assurance Company. In 2009, Tom was named by Healthspottr as one of the top 100 innovators in healthcare the US for his work on medical ethics. In December 2012, Tom was listed in Forbes.com as one of 13 unsung heroes changing healthcare forever.