Sam's Club launches preventive health program with pharmacists

January 18, 2011

Warehouse retailer Sam's Club has launched what may be the country's largest retail preventive health program targeting consumers and small businesses.

Warehouse retailer Sam’s Club has launched what may be the country’s largest retail preventive health program targeting consumers and small businesses. The Prevention Plan, which costs $99 per year, is an online health screening and primary prevention program similar to plans already being marketed to employer groups. The retailer is also launching free in-store health screening programs that include an individual pharmacy consultation, blood-pressure checks, bone-density scans, BMI assessment, cholesterol and blood-glucose testing, hearing exams, and eye exams.

“We have a health-cost crisis because we have a health crisis,” said Ronald Loeppke, MD, vice chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine Inc., which created The Prevention Plan. “The way to deal with that is through prevention. Primary prevention can produce significant reduction in health risks over just a 12-month period.”

The online program, available for Sam’s Club members, begins with an extensive health questionnaire and a self-administered finger stick to assess cholesterol and hemoglobin A1c levels. Each patient gets a personalized health-risk evaluation, specific recommendations to reduce health risks, and personal coaching sessions by telephone or a web-based chat every month to help meet the goals.

A pilot study of 2,606 participants and 15 health risks found that the high-touch program significantly reduced risk factors. The program also significantly increased the numbers and percentages of patients who moved from high risk to intermediate risk or from intermediate to low risk as determined by the number and severity of risk factors detected at the beginning and the end of the test period. Risk factors included obesity, smoking, elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, fatty diet, physical activity, excessive alcohol use, recreational drug use, seat-belt use, days of illness in the prior year, and other measures.

For more information about The Prevention Plan, administered by U.S. Preventive Medicine Inc., check online at www.SamsClub.com/healthyliving or call 866-713-1180.