Health Care Delivery Initiative Spotlight: Employee Wellness Programs

J-PAL North America has recently announced the Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition, which will support new research proposals about how to improve health care policy. The Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI) has already supported innovative health care research, including a randomized evaluation by J-PAL affiliate Katherine Baicker (Harvard) and Zirui Song (Harvard) about the benefits of employee wellness programs. Policymakers see employee wellness programs as a potential strategy to improve employee health outcomes and decrease health care costs, but evidence on their effectiveness is limited.

In an ongoing study, Baicker and Song are studying the impact of an employee wellness program at BJ’s Wholesale Club. The year-long wellness program includes team-based diet and exercise challenges, physical activity, nutrition counseling, and stress reduction. The researchers will compare BJ’s locations that were randomly assigned to the wellness program against a control group to see the impact of the program on employee health and well-being; worker absenteeism and turnover; and health care spending.

Visit the J-PAL North America website for the full evaluation summary as well as more information about the Health Care Delivery Innovation Competition. Register for our first webinar to be held on April 15, 2016, at 10:00 am – 11:00 am, and our second webinar to be held on May 19, 2016, at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Author: J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this through research, outreach, and training. We collaborate with decision-makers to generate clear, scientific evidence on which approaches work and why. We catalyze and support randomized evaluations, communicate evidence to help translate research into action, and build policymakers’ capacity to create and use evidence.

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