A relative who is a nurse said something to me that I have not forgotten. She said, “Type 2 diabetes is an acquired disease.” In other words, type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Prevention is a hot word these days when it comes to health care. Sam’s Club is the first retailer to offer the U.S. Preventive Medicine’s (USPM) The Prevention Plan to its members. The Prevention Plan allows people to take a health assessment online and do an at-home blood test, and then get a personalized program targeted to their health risks. Health coaching is also offered. Members pay a $99 one-time fee, plus the cost ($40-$100) of a Sam’s Club membership.
Several studies show that preventative healthcare works. A study by the Milken Institute states that preventative healthcare would reduce the economic impact of disease by 27 percent, saving $1.1 trillion a year by 2023, and reduce cases of chronic disease by 40 million.
A 2009 study on The Prevention Plan evaluated the impacts on employees after being on The Prevention Plan for one year. The study evaluated 2,606 people in multiple employer groups, analyzing changes in 15 health risk measures. The study found “significant reduction” in 10 of the health risks measured. The biggest changes occurred in employees with high-risk blood pressure (42.78 percent), high-risk fasting blood sugar (31.13 percent), and high-risk stress (27.94 percent).
The study also found the following results in the individuals evaluated:
- 9.40 percent increase in the low-risk category
- 3.61 percent decrease in the moderate risk category
- 5.79 percent decrease in the high-risk category
- 48.70 percent of people in the high-risk category moved to moderate risk
- 46.35 percent moved from moderate risk to low risk
- 15.65 percent moved from high risk to low risk
- 87.33 remained in the low-risk category
USPM chairman and CEO Christopher Fey said to Fast Company, “Someone needed to create a ubiquitous, standardized platform.” Fey added, “Prevention is a board-certified discipline and we put it into a branded product.”
“We may not be able to put all 308 million people in America on the plan, but by teaming up with Sam’s Club and other big organizations, we can certainly get the message in front of every person,” Fey said.
Sam’s Club spokesperson Christi Gallagher told Fast Company, “We wanted to offer our customers a way to lead healthier lives.”
“Through our member insights, we know our members want to stay in control of their health