Costs of Preparing to Implement a Family-Based Intervention to Prevent Pediatric Obesity in Primary Care: a Budget Impact Analysis

Neil Jordan, Andrea K. Graham, Cady Berkel, Justin D. Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The costs associated with implementing evidence-based programs for pediatric obesity contribute to a lack of widespread adoption. This study examined the costs of preparing to implement the Family Check-Up 4 Health (FCU4Health), a family-centered behavioral program for the prevention of pediatric obesity and excess weight gain in primary care. Budget impact analysis was used to estimate the cost of preparing to implement FCU4Health (i.e., the activities to prepare for, but prior to, offering the service to families). Electronic cost capture methods were used to prospectively track personnel time associated with implementation preparation activities. We also estimated the cost of replicating these preparatory activities to inform future decisions to adopt the program and associated budgetary planning. The total cost of FCU4Health implementation preparation in three clinics and developing delivery materials and infrastructure was $181,768, for an average of $60,589 per clinic. Over two thirds of the total cost were personnel related, the largest of which was associated with the time spent developing automated fidelity coding for monitoring (20%), developing and tailoring clinical materials (16%), and training FCU4Health coordinators (15%). Due to these development costs associated with an initial implementation, that we anticipate would not be repeated in full, we estimated the cost to prepare FCU4Health for implementation in a future initiative will range from $15,195 to $17,912 per clinic. This study is a critical step towards equipping decision-makers with comprehensive short-term information about expected costs that are incurred immediately after choosing to adopt an evidence-based program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019


  • Budget impact analysis
  • Family Check-Up 4 Health
  • Health economics
  • Implementation cost
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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