How CHIP works

The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) reduces medical and pharmacy claims costs for employers, health systems, physician practices, and health plans. Claims savings are achieved by addressing the “root cause” of chronic disease—Lifestyle Choices. Helping individuals with costly, chronic illnesses improve their physical and mental health, through small improvements and changes in their lifestyle, generate significant results. Furthermore, CHIP provides physicians a scientifically validated solution to complement their medical management care plan for their patients.

The principle behind CHIP is simple: If employees and patients improve and increase their health status and remain healthy, they need less health care resulting in reduced health care claims costs. 

Proven to improve health

CHIP is scientifically proven to help support and facilitate the prevention, treatment, and reversal of chronic disease through lifestyle modifications. More than 40 scientific research papers document and validate the solutions effectiveness. By modifying their lifestyle routines and habits, CHIP participants can often regain their health—and stay well. Research shows that the participants continue to maintain positive improvements in biometric markers and lab metrics, years after engaging CHIP.

Over three decades, CHIP has helped tens of thousands of participants worldwide. 

Learn what it’s like to be a CHIP participant

Learn more about how CHIP prevents, treats, and reverses disease

In 2020, CHIP was the first program to earn the Certified Lifestyle Medicine Program designation from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

How lifestyle affects health care costs

Chronic diseases account for more than 80% of all health care costs.

For every $1 your organization spends on CHIP, it will save $2 in health claims costs.

Self-insured employers save on health care medical and pharmacy claims costs

If your organization assumes financial risk for health care benefits provided to employees, deploying CHIP will decrease your financial exposure by addressing the root cause of illness.

Reduced health claim costs

CHIP can reduce your organization’s expenses for medical and pharmacy claims. The solution helps employees with chronic illness and health risks reduce their need for medical care and medications. As their health improves, claims decrease.

Higher productivity

By preventing, treating, and potentially reversing disease, CHIP makes employees more productive. They take fewer sick days and remain at work. Their optimal health status positively impacts the organization’s financial performance.

Elevated morale

There are other benefits, too—assets that don’t show up on the balance sheet. Often CHIP participants become fiercely loyal to the organization that offered them the chance to improve their health with CHIP. Their loyalty is an expression of gratitude for the gift of restored health. 

Health care systems and hospitals support healthier communities, economically stronger  employers, and more professionally satisfied physicians

Networks of clinics and hospitals that adopt CHIP strengthen the health of both employees and patients.

Reduced patient service delivery costs

For health care systems with risk-based payment models, CHIP is an ideal solution to manage and keep utilization costs down. As chronically ill patients achieve better health through lifestyle changes, they need less medical care.

Reputation-building results

Because CHIP works in preventing, treating, and reversing chronic disease, health systems that adopt it gain a reputation for achieving the best possible patient outcomes.

Community connections

CHIP brings people together. Patients and employees who take part in the program forge close bonds as they support one another’s lifestyle modifications and achievements. 

Physicians achieve their plans of care for patients.

As a physician, CHIP can help you optimize patient outcomes by addressing lifestyle issues that underlie many chronic illnesses. 

Effective treatment

Pharmacological solutions to chronic disease are costly, have many side effects and often can fail to yield the desired clinical results. CHIP sets patients on the road to better health and wellbeing by addressing the root cause of chronic disease – lifestyle.

Easy to implement

CHIP offers a turnkey solution that’s easy to integrate into your practice. You can simply refer patients and monitor their progress at appointments.

“The CHIP intervention has shown benefits for the management of chronic diseases and has been described by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine as “achieving some of the most impressive clinical outcomes published in the literature.”

“The Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP):History, Evaluation, and Outcomes,” Darren Morton, PhD, Paul Rankin, MPH, Lillian Kent, PhD, and Wayne Dysinger, MD, Am J Lifestyle Med 2014; 10 (1):64-73

After you become a partner

As a CHIP partner, your organization and the CHIP participant can realize health care costs savings within months. LMI works with you to scale the program to the ideal size, so your organization will receive the greatest clinical and financial benefit possible. And your participants will feel more engaged and vibrant!

Once you team up with the Lifestyle Medicine Institute and CHIP, here’s what happens next:

An LMI customer service manager supports your organization.

Your Customer Service Manager (CSM) is dedicated to assisting you with successfully implementing, launching and operating CHIP. Your CSM will work with you to establish the CHIP Joint Operating Council (JOC) and guide you in identifying and reaching out to potential individuals who could benefit the most from participation.

The Joint Operating Council will team up with you to set your specific CHIP program goals and strategies, implement the CHIP solution, and provide on-going operational support. This includes building CHIP awareness, recruiting and enrolling participants in CHIP cohorts, ensuring CHIP participants are effectively engaged, and fostering continued participant support post-CHIP.

You and Lifestyle Medicine Institute together determine who should be your program’s qualified facilitator.

The facilitator organizes and runs the CHIP program’s group participant cohort sessions. LMI will train and certify an individual within your organization to run the program or LMI can provide a facilitator. LMI teaches facilitators behavioral modification science techniques and lifestyle medicine approaches to keep participants engaged and advancing toward accomplishing their specific goals.

Each participant completes biometric testing within the first week of the program.

Initial metrics provides a baseline measurement of each participant’s health status. Among values tested are the following:

  • Total, HDL (Total to HDL ratio), and LDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)
  • C-reactive protein
  • Blood pressure
  • Resting heart rate
  • Weight
  • Waist circumference
  • Body mass index (BMI)

Results of biometric tests and an accompanying health risk assessment identify areas where participants need to focus their goals and efforts.

Participants engage in CHIP.

Participants meet every week as a group with a facilitator to learn lifestyle-changing techniques, receive support for modifying behaviors, ask questions, and discuss their progress. Participants take steps to change habits in 6 targeted areas. Each cohort becomes a close-knit community, with individuals supporting their peers’ achievements.

Recheck biometrics in 10 weeks.

Measure how participants’ health has improved. Participants will continue to see improvement in their health. At the same time, they will develop habits that keep them healthier for years to come.

Launch another CHIP cohort.

More than 85% of those who participate in CHIP are so satisfied with their results they recommend it to their peers and work colleagues.

Profile of success: Lee Health

Community-owned health system in Southwest Florida

Average after 12 months, 28 participants

Savings on medical claims:

$2,500 saved per participant

$1.85 saved for every dollar invested

Weight loss:

17.1 lbs.

Body mass index:

6.7 point improvement

LDL cholesterol:

20.7 point reduction

Total cholesterol:

27.7 point reduction

Blood pressure:

Below 120/80

Lee County employers reap savings with CHIP

Program Investment

Investing in CHIP is an affordable way to manage health care costs. At the same time, CHIP’s individualized program helps employees and patients prevent, treat, or reverse disease.

There are three major components of the CHIP investment: Intellectual property license and administrative support; labs and facilitation – provided by either the Customer or LMI; facilitator training (if Customer chooses to have their own staff trained and certified to run CHIP programs).

More information

Want more proof of CHIP results?

CHIP’s published scientific papers deliver statistics and case studies about the program’s success. Download them now to find out more about how CHIP prevents, treats, and reverses disease—and helps organizations reduce costs.

Find out how your organization can become a CHIP partner.