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Am J Manag Care. 2015 Sep 1;21(9):e503-8.

Payer source influence on effectiveness of lifestyle medicine programs.

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106 Parks Hall, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701. E-mail:



Many chronic diseases are responsive to interventions focused on diet and physical activity. The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) is an intensive, community-based lifestyle intervention that effectively treats many chronic diseases and their risk factors. This is a pilot study examining the effect of payer source for CHIP tuition on participants' outcomes.


Seventy-nine self-selected participants (73.4% female) attended 1 of 3 CHIP classes (classes 7-9) offered January through May 2013 in Athens, Ohio. Participants were categorized into 3 groups based on the source(s) of their tuition payment: self-pay, employer-pay, or scholarship. Chronic disease risk factors for each individual were assessed at the beginning and conclusion of the program.


Outcome variables included percent reduction between pre- and post CHIP measures in body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting blood glucose. Results were compared between type of payer source (out of pocket vs employer and/or scholarship) and between each individual CHIP class attended.


There was no statistical difference in outcomes based on payer source. Those who received funding through their employer or a scholarship experienced similar effects from a lifestyle intervention program as those who paid out of pocket.


This study demonstrates that the benefit of CHIP for reducing chronic disease risk factors exists independent of payment source, and thus suggests its benefit may cross socioeconomic lines.

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