How much, by when? That's the driving question surrounding employee health management programs. And as a benefit consultant, it's your job to help clients understand how a workplace wellness program can influence their corporate health care trend and when they can begin to realize the financial benefits of this investment in employee health.

A recently published study from StayWell Health Management and Towers Watson can help you address these essential questions. The study, "Association Between Changes in Health Risk Status and Changes in Future Health Care Costs: A Multi-employer Study," was published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The findings demonstrate that when risks change, costs follow. But over time, focusing workplace health improvement initiatives on population-wide prevention will deliver greater financial results than focusing on helping a specific segment of your population reverse or reduce existing health risks. In addition, the study showed that the initial financial payoff begins to accrue after just one year.

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