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Friday, December 6, 2013
Changes in health care costs for employers
I work for a medium-sized business that is looking to lower our health care costs by lowering medical claims. There seems to be a big push for work sponsored-programs that help people get healthier, but they cost us as well. Does this kind of an investment really affect the bottom line, or is it just a nice idea? What do the numbers say?
The field of health and productivity management research is growing every year. Examination of economic factors such as health care benefit expenses, sick leave, worker’s compensation and short-term and long-term disability costs has occurred. In over 1,000 studies focused on health productivity interventions at the worksite, a variety of findings have been reported:
- Large numbers of health risks increase health care utilization (medical claims).
- When health risks are reduced, health costs are also reduced.
- Many health risks increases worker’s compensation, sick leave and disability day use.
The research indicates a relationship between health care utilization and cost when health risks are predominant. Therefore, implementing strategies to reduce health risks should lead to decreased health care costs. You can learn more about this topic by accessing the websites listed below.
Elizabeth R Click, ND, RN, CWP
Assistant Professor of Nursing and Medical Director
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University