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Center for Management Research
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Health Care Costs
 
Can the Transcendental Meditation Program Reduce the Medical Expenditures of Older People? A Longitudinal Cost Reduction Study in Canada >    
Herron, R. E. Cavanaugh, K. (2005). Can the Transcendental Meditation Program Reduce the Medical Expenditures of Older People? A Longitudinal Cost Reduction Study in Canada. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 17(1), 415–442.

Abstract

We examined whether a method for enhancing psychological and physiological balance and health, the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique, can reduce medical expenditures in people over 65 years old. Inflation-adjusted payments to physicians for treating 163 TM practitioners were compared with those for 163 control subjects matched for age, sex, and median pre-intervention payments. Yearly changes in physician payments were estimated for each subject using separate least squares regression for pre- and post-intervention periods. During the pre-meditation period, mean changes in payments differed non-significantly between groups (p = 0.27). After learning the TM technique, mean annual change in payments for TM practitioners was significantly lower than for controls (p = 0.001). The TM group’s five-year cumulative reduction relative to controls was 69.84%.
Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Medical Expenses >    
Herron, R. E., Hillis, S. L. (2000). Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Medical Expenses. Abstracts of the American Public Health Association 128th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Nov. 12-16, p. 178.

Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Medical Expenses >    
Herron, R. E., Hillis, S. L. (2000). Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Medical Expenses. Abstracts of the American Public Health Association 128th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Nov. 12-16, p. 178.

Abstract

We examined whether a method for enhancing psychological and physiological balance and health, the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique, can reduce medical expenditures in people over 65 years old. Inflation-adjusted payments to physicians for treating 163 TM practitioners were compared with those for 163 control subjects matched for age, sex, and median pre-intervention payments. Yearly changes in physician payments were estimated for each subject using separate least squares regression for pre- and post-intervention periods. During the pre-meditation period, mean changes in payments differed non-significantly between groups (p = 0.27). After learning the TM technique, mean annual change in payments for TM practitioners was significantly lower than for controls (p = 0.001). The TM group’s five-year cumulative reduction relative to controls was 69.84%.

The Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec: An Update >    
Herron, R. E., Hillis, S. L. (2000). The Impact of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec: An Update. American Journal of Health Promotion, 14(5), 284-291.

Abstract

The purpose of this quasi-experimental, longitudinal, cost-minimization evaluation study was to determine whether practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique can affect medical expenses. 1,418 health insurance enrollees from the Province of Quebec, Canada who practiced the TM technique were compared with 1,418 randomly selected subjects matched for age, gender, and region. TM subjects had chosen to begin the technique prior to learning about and choosing to enter the study. This 14-year, pre- and post-intervention study retrospectively assessed government payments to physicians for treating the TM and comparison groups. Other medical expense data for individuals were unavailable. Data were inflation-adjusted. For each subject, least squares regression slopes were calculated to estimate pre- and post-intervention annual rates of change in payments. We compared the groups? means and 1%, 5%, and 10% trimmed means (robust estimators) of the slopes. Before starting meditation, the yearly rate of increase in payments between groups was not significantly different (p > 0.17). After commencing meditation, the TM group?s mean payments declined 1–2% annually. The comparison group's payments increased up to 11.73% annually over 6 years. There was a 13.78% mean annual difference (p = 0.0017). The results suggest the TM technique reduced payments to physicians from 5% to 13% annually relative to comparison subjects over 6 years. Randomized studies are recommended.
Reduced Medical Care Utilization and Expenditures Through An Innovative Approach >    
Orme-Johnson, D. W., Herron, R. E. (1997). Reduced Medical Care Utilization and Expenditures Through An Innovative Approach. Abstracts of the Association for Health Services Research 14th Annual Meeting, June 15-17, p. 19.

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the reduction of medical use and costs in a group participating in a comprehensive, natural, prevention-oriented health care system, the Maharishi Vedic Approach to HealthSM (MVAH). The MVAH includes interventions such as individualized diet, exercise, herbs, and detoxification modalities, and the general practice of the Transcendental Meditation® program with advanced meditation techniques. We retrospectively compared 11 years of medical utilization and payment data collected by Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) of Iowa for 3 groups in Iowa: MVAH (n = 693), statewide norms for BC/BS (n = 600,000), and a control group matched according to geography, age, and profession (n = 4,148). The MVAH group had lower utilization than norms and controls for all 17 BC/BS disease categories (P = 0.001). When compared with norms, the MVAH group’s hospital admissions were 92% lower for cardiovascular diseases, 94% lower for bone/muscle/ligament disorders, 93% lower for virus/bacterial infections, and 92% lower for mental health and substance abuse problems. The greatest savings were for MVAH subjects over 45 years who had 91% fewer total hospital patient days than norms and 88% less than controls. MVAH total medical expenditures per person were 59% lower than the norm and 57% lower than the control groups.
An Innovative Approach to Reducing Medical Care Utilization and Costs >    
Orme-Johnson, D. W., Herron, R. E. (1997). An Innovative Approach to Reducing Medical Care Utilization and Costs. American Journal of Managed Care, 3(1), 135-144.

Abstract

This eleven-year study assessed medical utilization and expenditures of a group participating in a multi-component prevention program, the Maharishi Vedic Approach to HealthSM (MVAH). Archival data from Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) of Iowa for MVAH (n = 693) were compared with statewide norms for 1985 through 1995 (norm, n = 600,000) and with a demographically matched control group (control, n = 4,148) for 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1995. MVAH four-year total medical expenditures per person were 59% lower than the norm and 57% lower than the control. MVAH had lower utilization and expenditures for all age groups, and for all disease categories. Control’s hospital admission rates were 11.4 times higher than MVAH for cardiovascular disease, 3.3 times higher for cancer, 6.7 times higher for mental health and substance abuse. The greatest savings were for MVAH subjects over 45 years; they had 88% fewer total patient days than controls.
Cost-Effective Hypertension Management: Comparison of Drug Therapies with an Alternative Program >    
Herron, R. E., Schneider, R. H., Mandarino, J. V., Alexander, C. N., Walton, K. G. (1996). Cost-Effective Hypertension Management: Comparison of Drug Therapies with an Alternative Program. American Journal of Managed Care, II(4), 427-437.

Abstract

The competitive nature of managed care organizations demands that providers seek cost-effective ways to maintain the health of their clients. As an approach to reducing cardiovascular morbidity, anti-hypertensive medication is costly, has adverse side effects, and has questionable value in reducing coronary heart disease. This report evaluates a behavioral stress-reduction method as an option to pharmaceutical treatment. Randomized studies indicate that the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique reduces mild hypertension (the predominant form of hypertension) as effectively as drug therapies. A cost-effectiveness comparison in 1996 dollars was made between five standard antihypertensive medications and the TM technique over a simulated twenty-year treatment period. The present value analysis of treatment payments found that the TM technique had the lowest present value cost, and thus appeared to be the most attractive alternative. The estimated average costs of anti-hypertensive drug treatment ranged from $375 per year for hydrochlorothiazide to $1051 per year for propranolol hydrochloride, whereas the estimated average cost of treatment with the TM technique was $286 per year. When combined with results of controlled trials documenting the effectiveness of the TM technique in reducing high blood pressure and improving the quality of life, the present comparison suggests this non-pharmacologic procedure may be safely used as a cost-effective treatment of hypertension in the managed care setting.
Reducing Medical Costs: The Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec >    
Herron, R. E., Hillis, S. L., Mandarino, J. V., Orme-Johnson, D. W., Walton, K. G. (1996). Reducing Medical Costs: The Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Government Payments to Physicians in Quebec. American Journal of Health Promotion, 10, (3), 208-216.

Abstract

This retrospective study evaluated whether government medical payments in Quebec were affected by the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Government payments for physicians? services were reviewed for the three years before and up to seven years after subjects started the technique. Payment data were adjusted for aging and year-specific variation (including inflation) using normative data. A volunteer group of 677 provincial health insurance enrollees from the Province of Quebec, Canada was evaluated. The subjects had chosen to practice TM before they selected to enter the study. The subjects (348 males, 329 females) had diverse occupations. Their ages averaging 38 years ranged from 18 to 71 at the start of TM. During the three years before starting TM, the adjusted payments to physicians for treating the subjects did not change significantly. After commencing TM practice, subjects' adjusted expenses declined significantly. The several methods used to assess the rate of decline gave estimates ranging from 5% to 7% annually. Because there was no separate control group; thus it is impossible to determine whether the changes were caused by TM practice or some other factor. The results suggest that Transcendental Meditation reduces government payments to physicians. However, because of the sampling method used, the generalizability of these results to wider populations could not be evaluated.
The Health Care Cost Crisis and the Role of Prevention: New Approaches Utilizing the Transcendental Meditation Program >    
Herron, R. E. (1995). The Health Care Cost Crisis and the Role of Prevention: New Approaches Utilizing the Transcendental Meditation Program. Modern Science & Vedic Science, 6, (1), 33-59

Abstract

During the past two decades, the United States has become increasingly concerned with reducing medical care expenditures while continuing to improve the health of Americans. However, medical costs have continued to rise rapidly, despite efforts to contain them. Unlike the treatment-based strategies for health care that are currently in wide use, prevention-oriented approaches offer great unrealized potential to directly improve the health of U.S. citizens and thereby to reduce medical utilization and its attendant costs. At present, however, there is little research to validate the cost effectiveness of such prevention programs. This paper reviews the cost effectiveness of the current U.S. health care system as compared with those of other nations, especially Canada, and examines the potential of effective prevention programs for alleviating the health care cost crisis. A strategy is suggested to lower medical care utilization and expenditures by directing effective health-promotion and disease-preventive interventions toward the highest-cost patients-that fraction of the population that consistently incurs the majority of all medical expenses. The scientifically validated Transcendental Meditation program is proposed as an effective preventive intervention to accomplish this strategy, and pertinent health-related research on the Transcendental Meditation program is reviewed. Future research possibilities are also suggested in order to enhance and expand national preventive care and thereby to further reduce high medical expenditures in the U.S.
Medical care utilization and the Transcendental Meditation program >    
Orme-Johnson, D. W. (1987). Medical care utilization and the Transcendental Meditation program. Psychosomatic Medicine, 49(1), 493­507.

Abstract

This field study compared 5 years of medical insurance utilization statistics of approximately 2000 regular participants in the Transcendental Meditation® (TM) program with a normative data base of approximately 600,000 members of the same insurance carrier. The benefits, deductible, co-insurance terms, and distribution by gender of the TM group were very similar to the norm, yet the TM group had lower medical utilization rates in all categories. Inpatient days per 1000 by age category were 50.2% fewer than the norm for children (0­18), 50.1% fewer for young adults (19­39), and 69.4% fewer for older adults (40+). Outpatient visits per 1000 for the same age categories were, respectively, 46.8%, 54.7%, and 73.7% fewer. When compared with five other health insurance groups of similar size and professional membership, the TM group had 53.3% fewer inpatient admissions per 1000 and 44.4% fewer outpatient visits per 1000. Admissions per 1000 were lower for the TM group than the norm for all of 17 major medical treatment categories, including ­55.4% for benign and malignant tumors, ­87.3% for heart disease, ­30.4% for all infectious diseases, ­30.6% for all mental disorders, and ­87.3% for disease of the nervous system. However, the TM group’s admissions rates for childbirth were similar to the norm. The issue of self-selection is addressed in terms of previous medical research in this area.
Toward better health: Transcendental Meditation can cut expenses without decreasing quality >    
Schneider, R., Cavanaugh, W., Boncheff, S., and Cavanaugh, K. (1986). Toward better health: Transcendental Meditation can cut expenses without decreasing quality. Business and Health, 4, 39-42. Also in Strategies for Maintaining a Vital Work Force, (Greenvale, NY: Panel Publishers), 1989, pp. 129-139.

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