Economic Value of 9Health Screenings
The 1970’s saw a number of technological and medical innovations (computer assisted tomography (CAT Scans), Chicken Pox vaccine, Rubella vaccine) taking place, yet like today, many Americans still lacked access to basic health care services. While traveling the country, physician John Brensike, observed many individuals showing a high level of interest for affordable health screening services, especially during a time when health care prices were skyrocketing.
Understanding the potential value these public health services offered to the community, and the need for publicity, Dr. Bensike formed a unique partnership with the then Denver-based 9News President. Working in unison, they created 9Health, a non-profit providing access to preventive health screenings and tools allowing Coloradans to take responsibility for their own health. Launched in 1980, 9Health Fair offered dozens of free health screenings at 40 health fairs to 55,000 Coloradans throughout the state in its first year alone.
Like many non-profits, 9Health relies on generous support from the community, grants, sponsors, donors and stakeholders. In addition, 9Health has leveraged many enduring and new community partnerships critical to the success of 9Health in communities. Providing free and low-cost screenings continues to rise and the need for monetary support to sustain the organization, even greater.
Throughout the years, 9Health has collected countless testimonials describing the value and impact of screenings and preventive health services, but has lacked quantitative data that its services provide a cost-savings to people and improved health outcomes. In 2019, 9Health engaged Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) and the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD) with the intention of offering a data-driven case to communities served, stakeholders, and funders --displaying the impact of its services by quantifying their value to the larger health care ecosystem.
“With help from CIVHC and the CO APCD, we were able to state that at least 60% of 9Health Fair participants seek medical care after having a 9Health screening. This valuable research, along with an independent assessment of our return on investment (ROI), provide irrefutable, quantifiable data proving our impact on health care costs and the health of our participants,” says Adele Work, Vice President, Operations at 9Health
Additionally, through their custom analysis, 9Health was also able to show that their screenings, preventive health education, and outreach resources have saved an estimated $1.9 billion in health care costs in Colorado.
Today, the organization continues to evolve and expand its screenings to include services like blood chemistry, PAP tests, bone density, cardio risk assessments, and many more valuable health measures. 9Health now offers health fairs throughout all regions of the state and has delivered 5,000 health fairs serving 9 million Coloradans since its inception.