VSP: Annual Eye Exams Saved Companies Nearly $3 Billion Each Year

May 13, 2009
A new study of five U.S. corporations shows that the companies saved nearly $3 billion annually on health care costs associated with the treatment of chronic diseases detectable via an eye examination.

The study was undertaken by Human Capital Management Services, Inc. (HCMS) on behalf of VSP Vision Care http://www.vsp.com/ and showed that VSP client companies are realizing these savings for the early detection of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol in the first year alone, directly related to health plan, disability and employee termination costs.

HCMS's study analyzed these costs for five major U.S. corporations – with a total of 90,000 employees – and found that the early disease detection that VSP Vision Care's regular comprehensive eye exams offer saved companies and their employees money and valuable time. Specifically, companies save nearly $2,900 annually on medical related costs for each employee with diabetes, when the disease is detected early.

"Vision benefits are often seen as a non-core health care service, but the HCMS data shows vision care benefits help lower corporate providers' long-term health care liabilities, with early detection of chronic diseases for employees," said Rob Lynch, CEO of VSP. "Study data on the VSP Eye Health Management Program(R) found that every dollar spent on VSP exam services resulted in a $0.94 recuperation of medical related costs that could be avoided."

When the findings of the HCMS study are applied to the past 3 years for each of the five VSP Vision Care corporate clients who participated in the study, the results show that nearly 2,000 members received early treatment for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension as a result of their annual eye exams. During that time, each of the five companies realized cost savings of at least $204,000 and as much as $968,000.

Of the 3.6 million VSP Vision Care members living with diabetes and hypertension who had an eye exam last year, over 25 percent received early treatment for their chronic disease as a result of their VSP eye doctor, according to the study.

When the findings of the study are applied to VSP's entire membership of 55,000,000 over a 1-year period, the results show that:

  • Of 1,457,500 people with diabetes, 20 percent received early treatment as a result of their eye exam; and
  • Of 2,186,250 people with hypertension, 30 percent received early treatment as a result of their eye exam.

HCMS data also revealed that large VSP clients such as the U.S. Federal Government, which includes over 8 million employees, dependents and retirees, could save nearly $423 million annually in potential cost avoidance due to early detection through VSP's Eye Health Management Program(R).

"The research we've conducted, and translated into cost savings for companies, could help improve company financials for years to come," Lynch said.

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