ARCH in a Nutshell

ARCH by 4Leaf* — For Reducing the Cost of Healthcare

ARCH is an automated health promotion system aimed at influencing all members of any organization to improve their health by incorporating more whole, plant-based foods in their dietary routines. We know that when people eat more whole plants, their health improves, they get sick less often, they suffer less from chronic disease, they need fewer medications, screenings & procedures–and the cost of their individual healthcare goes down. Hence, the ARCH acronym: Automatically Reducing the Cost of Healthcare.

Truly a win-win situation, the employees and their families enjoy the many benefits of better health AND they save money on their portion of the healthcare bill. The self-insured employer (business or institution) saves vast sums of money on healthcare while also enjoying the many benefits that accompany a healthy workforce–Less absenteeism, better morale, higher productivity, less employee turnover and enhanced public image such as: most admired, best place to work, greenest company & the nation’s healthiest workforce.

The ARCH by 4Leaf* system is comprised of four elements:

  1. An online survey that assesses the quality of one’s diet, ranging from terrible to terrific. This survey is the heart of the ARCH system. It quickly generates a score, which engages the individual in the process.
  2. A messaging system that communicates regularly with populations of any size (from 10 to ten million) and engages each person with never-ending reminder messages, improvement advice, follow-up, encouragement and praise.
  3. A HIPAA-compliant database that keeps track of dates and numerical scores of surveys administered, periodic vital sign measurements (BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, A1C levels, etc.—along with specific costs driven by medications, screenings and/or procedures.
  4. A management reporting system that compares quality of diet to vital signs, medications, procedures, and total cost of healthcare by individual, department, facility, division, etc.

The survey we use is the 4Leaf Survey that was developed in 2012, is now available in seven languages, has been given over 100,000 times, is used by scores of medical doctors around the world and is used in the eCornell online course at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. It has twelve multiple-choice questions, can be completed in under two minutes either online or with pen and paper and can produce a custom report depending on the answers to the twelve answers. (Click here for eCornell version)

Promoting Health & Saving Money. We believe that ARCH can be effective at promoting health and reducing the cost of healthcare with very little management involvement or incentives. We also believe that more positive senior management involvement coupled with training and incentives for all employees can lead to far greater savings.

For example, in any self-insured organization with at least 500 employees, with minimal management involvement or employee training, we believe that the total cost of healthcare can be lowered by  5% to 10% within two years. With active leadership from senior management, we believe that those costs could be lowered by 50% or more. And that amounts to a ton of money.

According to AON Hewitt, the cost of healthcare (shared by the company and the employees) in 2016 was well over $100 million for the average company with 10,000 employees. With savings of 5%, 10% or 50% the total cost of healthcare could be cut by more than $5 million, $10 million or $50 million, respectively.

Those kind of numbers are game-changers for most companies, prompting us to consider the strategic advantage that will be enjoyed by companies who choose to get serious about promoting health. Here’s the way we see it: 

As the first wave of CEOs begins to take advantage of the many benefits that come from a healthier workforce, other companies who don’t undertake similar initiatives will have trouble competing with those who do. — J. Morris Hicks

The Bottom Line. With the “strategic advantage” mentioned above, this approach to lowering the cost of healthcare (under the leadership of CEOs of large companies) will likely be the first “domino” to fall when it comes to an accelerated global shift to a plant-based diet. Considering the crucial environmental advantages of a shift away from eating animal-based foods, those pioneering CEOs will have quite possibly saved our civilization. 

Links to More ARCH information:

  1. The English one-page version of the Survey
  2. The Online 4Leaf Survey at
  3. 4Leaf Survey in Seven Languages
  4. Introduction to ARCH by 4Leaf
  5. One-page ARCH Vision Document
  6. Two-page ARCH Talking Points—Why it will Work
  7. J. Morris Hicks Consulting Credentials for Health Promotion

*ARCH by 4Leaf, the 4Leaf registered trademark, the 4Leaf Survey and all other 4Leaf materials are intellectual property of 4Leaf Global, LLC.

The Future. We envision licensing the ARCH by 4Leaf system to a broad mix of pioneering organizations (public, private, NGO, etc.) that would save money and/or gain a strategic advantage by substantially reducing their cost of healthcare.

For more information, Contact J. Morris (Jim) Hicks at