This time of year, many employers are sitting down with their benefits consultants to discuss what changes to make to their healthcare plans next year. With the explosion of digital health solutions over the last few years, there are more options to choose from than ever—from wellness programs to MSK to mental health to heart health and more.

The facts below make the case why most employers should start with the heart.

Prevalence of heart disease in the US

  1. Heart disease remains the #1 cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups.
  2. Every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack.
  3. 42% of workers age 18 and older are living with hypertension or taking medication to manage hypertension.

COVID & heart disease

  1. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 41% of Americans experienced at least one heart-related issue, according to a recent Cleveland Clinic survey.
  2. 27% of Americans who tested positive for COVID-19 reported that their diagnosis impacted their heart health. 

Financial impact of heart disease

  1. Heart-related health issues are the #1 most expensive chronic disease in the US—costing $363 billion each year.
  2. On average, employers spend $9,842 in total medical costs for individuals with hypertension.
  3. About 20% of coronary stents are unnecessary.
  4. Stents and bypass surgeries can be ineffective despite an average cost of over $150,000 per patient

A laissez faire approach to heart health has high human and financial costs, and the pandemic has only made the situation worse. Now is the time to prioritize heart health.

So what can employers do to address employee heart health?

For starters, take a look at Hello Heart’s hypertension self-management program. Through AI-powered digital coaching that meets people where they are 24/7/365, and gamification that keeps things fun and engaging, the Hello Heart app empowers people to make better lifestyle choices by providing wellness tips—from choosing healthier food options to fun exercise ideas. Making small changes and forming healthier habits may help reduce the risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. And with Hello Heart’s integrated relationships with top PBMs and health plans, employers can add Hello Heart quickly and easily…even off-cycle.

Does Hello Heart really work?

Yes—but don’t take our word for it. A peer-reviewed study of 28,189 participants observed that greater engagement with the Hello Heart app was associated with better blood pressure management, with follow-up as long as 3 years.


And as for the potential financial impact, in an analysis commissioned by Hello Heart, the Validation Institute analyzed employer claims data data from 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users and found that Hello Heart users’ estimated CVD costs went down by $880, while matched non-users’ estimated CVD costs increased by $985 —representing a reduction of estimated employer CVD spend of $1,865 per participant per year. An increase in costs for physician visits for Hello Heart users was also observed and may be attributable to the program’s encouragement of users to engage in preventive care.


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1: Gazit T, Gutman M, Beatty AL. Assessment of Hypertension Control Among Adults Participating in a Mobile Technology Blood Pressure Self-management Program. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2127008, Accessed 3/15/2022. (Some study authors are employed by Hello Heart. Because of the observational nature of the study, causal conclusions cannot be made. There were 108 participants who had been enrolled in the program for 3 years and who had application activity during weeks 148-163. See additional important study limitations in the publication.)

2: Validation Institute. 2021 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2022). Published October 2021. Accessed 3/15/2022. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-funded employer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review.)