Warehouse retailer Sam's Club has initiated what may be the country's largest retail preventive healthcare program targeting consumers and small businesses. Launched in January to coincide with the annual wave of New Year's resolutions, The Prevention Plan is an online health-screening and primary prevention program similar to wellness plans already being marketed to employer groups. It costs $99.
Sam's Club is also launching free monthly in-store health- screening programs that include an individual pharmacy consultation, blood-pressure checks, bone-density scans, BMI assessment, cholesterol and blood-glucose testing, hearing exams, and eye exams.
Two cilses in one
"We have a health-cost crisis because we have a health crisis/' said Ronald Loeppke, MD, vice chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine Ine, which created The Prevention Plan, "The way to deal with that is through prevention. Primary prevention can produce significant reduction in health risks over just a 12 -month period."
The Prevention Plan is already being used by employer groups nationwide, Loeppke said. It has been available to individuals at www.USPreventiveMedicine.com. but this is the first time it is being offered in a retail setting,
"Our mission is to make the world a healthier place," Loeppke said, "Health doesn't need to be limited to people whose employer decided to offer a wellness program. Let's make it available to individuals and family members who are not associated with an employer benefit plan. Prevention has the clinical evidence to show that it really works. Prevention is an idea whose time has finally come."
The evidence for prevention
The evidence is a 12 -month study published in Population Health Management in November 2010, Loeppke and fellow researchers followed 2,606 participants from numerous employer groups. They tracked the incidence and severity of 15 risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other preventable chronic conditions.
Results showed that with 24/7 nurse hotlines, one- on- one health coaching, contests, group events, and employer incentives, the high -contact program significantly reduced the percentage of employees with high-risk blood pressure (42,8%), fasting blood glucose (31,1%), stress (24,9%), and 8 other risk factors for individual participants. …