Participation in SilverSneakers Leads to a Substantial Decrease in Overall Healthcare Costs and Improved Health Outcomes for Seniors

Nashville, TN—PRNewswire—Total average healthcare expenses are significantly reduced by 16% for SilverSneakers® participants compared to non-participating Medicare Advantage members, according to a new comprehensive scientific study. The study was conducted by well-respected healthcare consulting firm Avalere Health and released today by Tivity Health® Inc. (Nasdaq: TVTY), a leading provider of health improvement solutions, including SilverSneakers®, the nation’s leading community fitness program for older adults.
The study’s findings showed total annual average health expenses, including medical and pharmacy, among SilverSneakers participants to be $4,463 compared to $5,303 for non-participants. Medical component of costs was decreased by 26%, driven primarily by reductions in hospitalization costs. Use of outpatient care was higher for SilverSneakers members combined with less acute care, indicating better health management among participants compared to non-participants.
The study used clinical data to establish an evidence-based narrative on the value of the SilverSneakers program related to healthcare costs, utilization, and quality measures. SilverSneakers participant data was shared with Avalere to link up with Medicare Advantage healthcare claims data and matched participants with a similar cohort of non-participating Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.
After starting the SilverSneakers program, participants experienced a significant 42% fewer hospital stays, and 18% fewer ER visits compared to Medicare Advantage non-participants. Length of stay for hospitalizations was also significantly shorter for SilverSneakers participants, 4.4 days compared to 5.8 days for non-participants. This reinforces that SilverSneakers both improves the quality of life for health plan members and reduces overall cost of care.
“We hear about the physical, emotional and social impact SilverSneakers has on our members every day, but this data validates research from the strategic advisory firm Avalere Health, that the program is proven to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs for seniors,” said Richard Ashworth, president and CEO of Tivity Health. “As health plans consider the supplemental benefits they offer, the impact on outcomes and cost is a deciding factor. SilverSneakers delivers even greater value in partnership with our health plans to enhance the patient care experience, improve the health of our senior population and reduce the per capita cost of healthcare.”
SilverSneakers participants also performed significantly better on key quality measures including all-cause 30-day readmissions, adherence to hypertension and cholesterol medications, diabetes care (HbA1c testing and eye exams), and many preventive screening measures including colonoscopy, depression, cholesterol, breast cancer, and prostate cancer screening when compared to non-participants.
“Aetna shares Tivity Health’s passion for encouraging Medicare Advantage members to stay active and connected, especially during the pandemic,” said Christopher Ciano, President of Aetna Medicare. “We recognize that staying active has a significant positive impact on members’ total health and well-being. We’re pleased that many of our Medicare Advantage members are taking advantage of the SilverSneakers online workouts and videos during this time.”
To ensure the study was designed and executed appropriately, each participant was matched using a 1:5 match ratio participant versus matched controls. Once matching was complete, more than 50,000 participants and matched controls were included in the evaluation. The study compared differences in cost and overall health improvement outcomes between the SilverSneakers members and the control group of similar non-participating Medicare Advantage patients. There are also several areas of comparison demonstrating that SilverSneakers leads to improved Stars ratings, a measurement system used by Medicare to measure how Medicare Advantage and Part D plans perform.
For more information and to view the full survey findings, visit the “Insights” section of the Tivity Health website at