Michael Motley, MPH
Arkansas has some of the highest rates of risk factors for poor health in the nation with nearly 36 percent of adults considered obese, 39 percent with hypertension, and 13 percent with diabetes. As a result, Arkansas’s health has ranked between 44th and 49th for the last two decades and is currently ranked 48th. For 2013, projected costs of chronic disease treatment and lost productivity were $26 billion. By making reasonable improvements in preventing and managing chronic disease, Arkansas can make progress in disease reduction and economic improvement. Businesses and policymakers have seen the value of investing in preventive care and encouraging individuals to make better health choices related to diet, physical activity, and tobacco use.
This issue brief is part of a series that discusses the components and effectiveness of healthy behavior incentive programs with recommendations for their establishment and their impact on individuals, businesses, and Medicaid.