Estimating the return-on-investment from changes in employee health risks on the Dow Chemical Company's health care costs

J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Aug;47(8):759-68. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000172868.05935.67.


Objective: We sought to estimate the impact of corporate health-management and risk-reduction programs for The Dow Chemical Company by using a prospective return-on-investment (ROI) model.

Methods: The risk and expenditure estimates were derived from multiple regression analyses showing relationships between worker demographics, health risks, and medical expenditures.

Results: A "break-even" scenario would require Dow to reduce each of 10 population health risks by 0.17% points per year over the course of 10 years. More successful efforts at reducing health risks in the population would produce a more significant ROI for the company.

Conclusions: Findings from this study were incorporated into other components of a business case for health and productivity management, and these supported continued investments in health improvement programs designed to achieve risk reduction and cost savings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chemical Industry / economics*
  • Demography
  • Efficiency
  • Employer Health Costs*
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Investments*
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Econometric
  • Occupational Health Services / economics*
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment / economics*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Workforce