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Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy

Loeppke, Ronald MD, MPH; Taitel, Michael PhD; Richling, Dennis MD; Parry, Thomas PhD; Kessler, Ronald C. PhD; Hymel, Pam MD, MPH; Konicki, Doris MHS

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 2007 - Volume 49 - Issue 7 - pp 712-721
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318133a4be
Fast Track Article

Objective: The objective of this study is to assess the magnitude of health-related lost productivity relative to medical and pharmacy costs for four employers and assess the business implications of a “full-cost” approach to managing health.

Methods: A database was developed by integrating medical and pharmacy claims data with employee self-report productivity and health information collected through the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ). Information collected on employer business measures were combined with this database to model health-related lost productivity.

Results: 1) Health-related productivity costs were more than four times greater than medical and pharmacy costs. 2) The full cost of poor health is driven by different health conditions than those driving medical and pharmacy costs alone.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that Integrated Population Health & Productivity Management should be built on a foundation of Integrated Population Health & Productivity Measurement. Therefore, employers would reveal a blueprint for action for their integrated health and productivity enhancement strategies by measuring the full health and productivity costs related to the burdens of illness and health risk in their population.

The study is funded by the National Pharmaceutical Council, a research and education organization supported by more than 20 of the nation’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies.

Address correspondence to: Ron Loeppke, MD, MPH, Matria Healthcare, 1850 Parkway Place, Marietta, GA 30067; E-mail: ron_loeppke@matria.com.

©2007The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine