US Preventive Medicine (USPM), an investor-owned, market-savvy firm offering prevention and wellness services, scored a coup last week with its announcement that Sam’s Club would offer a $99 version of their Prevention Plan, a package that includes testing, tracking and guidance. I wasn’t able to grab the associated videos to show on C&C, but here’s a Fox Business Network interview with USPM CEO Christopher Fey, and here’s the Sam’s Club video promo.
The product is real, or appears to be. A study published recently in the journal Population Health Management, co-authored by the eminent team of Ron Loeppke, Dee Eddington and Sami Beg, found significant reductions in 10 of 15 health risks measured in employee populations. All three authors have had financial relationships with the USPM, but disclosed no financial conflicts in the article.
As an astute commenter pointed out in response to Matthew Holt’s post on this at the Health Care Blog, having a retail giant like Sam’s offer the Prevention Plan constitutes an extremely interesting real-world test. When the product is made available in the marketplace, what percentage of purchasers will choose it, and what are their demographic characteristics. Will the product have “stickiness,” and what will the numbers look like in Year 2? Will there be a way to determine whether the cohort of (self-selected) purchasers’ health improved in a way – such as reduced risk – that translates to actual value?
If ever there was a test of consumer-directed health care, this is it.
By way of full disclosure, I owned stock in Specialty Disease Management, a firm that was acquired by USPM, so now own stock in USPM.