Health risk influence on medical care costs and utilization among 2,898 municipal employees

Michael T. Weaver, Brian G. Forrester, Kathleen C. Brown, Jennan A. Phillips, James C. Hilyer, Eli I. Capilouto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: Although worksite health promotion programs are credited with stabilizing medical benefits costs, research is needed to characterize the medical costs of cohorts with selected health risk factors. The purpose of this study was to compare medical cost outcomes in City of Birmingham, Alabama, employees who differ on selected health risk factors. Methods: Health risk appraisal and medical claims cost data were examined in 2,898 employees participating in health screening during 1992 and 1993. Probit analysis was employed to test the null hypotheses that there are no differences in (1) probability of medical service utilization and (2) probability of medical service cost quartile (high, moderate, and low) between groups characterized by risks. Age, gender, race, education, marital status, and diabetes were included as covariates in each model examined. In addition, smoking habits was included as a covariate in models involving risk taking behavior and psychosocial risk. Results: Significant differences in medical care utilization and costs were found between risk groups based on psychosocial risk, cardiovascular disease risk, and total risk. No association was found between risk-taking behavior and utilization and costs. Conclusion. Subjects reporting psychosocial, cardiovascular disease, and total risk factors were more likely to use medical services and to be in the high or high/moderate cost categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-253
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998


  • Costs and cost analysis
  • Health promotion
  • Occupational health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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