Study from West’s Health Advocate Establishes the Value of Worksite Screening for Hypertension in the Workplace

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During onsite health screenings, 68 percent of employees found to have hypertension had no previous record of diagnosis or treatment

By identifying issues like hypertension sooner, employees can access appropriate treatment earlier, leading to improved health outcomes and reduced costs.

Health Advocate™, the nation’s leading healthcare advocacy and assistance company and a subsidiary of West Corporation, today announced the publication of a new study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine demonstrating that workplace health screening programs can identify undiagnosed hypertension in employees and significantly, lead those employees to seek treatment.

Medical and pharmacy claims data from over 31,000 individuals in 21 self-insured employer groups* were analyzed by Health Advocate’s health informatics division, engage2Health. Screenings were held as a feature of employer sponsored biometric screening events conducted by Health Advocate. Results of the study indicate that new hypertension diagnoses and new prescriptions for hypertension treatment increased within a month after the workplace screening. Of the 6,548 individuals who had a blood pressure reading greater than 140/90 at the workplace screening (indicating potential hypertension), 4,414 (68.3 percent) had no previous record of diagnosis or treatment of hypertension.

“Our analysis shows the value and necessity of these onsite health screenings for both organizations and their employees,” said Antonio Legorreta, M.D., MPH, President, engage2Health. “By identifying issues like hypertension sooner, employees can access appropriate treatment earlier, leading to improved health outcomes and reduced costs.”

The study also looked at other factors and characteristics that may increase the risk of an employee having undiagnosed hypertension. Specifically, the study found that obese patients have a 155 percent greater risk of having undiagnosed hypertension.

Workplace screening programs provide convenient, professional health screenings onsite to help identify employees’ risk for a number of common conditions, including hypertension. This study explored whether employees with undiagnosed hypertension were being identified during these screenings, as well as the medical follow-up that occurs after the screenings.

Although a single blood pressure reading during a workplace screening cannot be used to diagnose hypertension, it can help to identify a potential issue and lead the employee to seek further medical care, as evidenced by the study. Individuals were approximately twice as likely to be identified as hypertensive by a healthcare provider or fill a prescription for a hypertension medication during the month after the workplace screening compared with the three months prior.

Results from this study indicate that workplace screening programs can be beneficial in identifying employees with undiagnosed hypertension earlier than otherwise possible, providing an opportunity to seek medical care and treatment to more effectively manage this chronic condition. By encouraging employee participation in these programs, employers can take steps to improve outcomes among their workforce while reducing healthcare costs by identifying and addressing conditions like hypertension sooner.

The article, “Measuring the Effects of Screening Programs in Asymptomatic Employees: Detection of Hypertension Through Worksite Screenings,” is published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and is available here. The first author, Antonio Legorreta, M.D., MPH, is the President of engage2Health, Health Advocate’s health informatics division.

*Data were fully de-identified prior to analysis and were received and managed in compliance with HIPAA regulations

About Health Advocate’s Biometric Screening Program

Health Advocate’s Biometric Screening Program is a turnkey solution that provides convenient, professional health screenings and related services at the workplace. Available nationwide to organizations of all sizes, this customized program offers a wide selection of screening options, to identify employees’ risk for hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, obesity and other serious health issues.

About Health Advocate

Health Advocate™, a subsidiary of West Corporation, is the nation’s leading healthcare advocacy and assistance company, serving more than 10,000 clients, including many of the nation’s largest companies.
Health Advocate’s award-winning Health Advocacy program helps members navigate complex healthcare and insurance-related issues, saving them both time and money. We also offer a suite of complementing solutions, including Wellness Coaching, EAP+Work/Life and Chronic Care Solutions, among others. Our fully integrated program, EmpoweredHealth, seamlessly combines our services into a single, convenient member-centric solution, helping individuals efficiently maximize their benefits and improve their health.

We also leverage the power of pricing transparency, personalized health communications and more to help members make more informed decisions and get more value out of the healthcare system. All supported by our powerful proprietary data analytics engine delivering improved health and financial results.

For more information, visit us at http://www.HealthAdvocate.com

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Courtney Prizer
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