Employers often ignore healthcare benefits

Feb. 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM
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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Employers should focus more on value, improved health and increased work productivity than just the expense of insurance premiums, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. A. Mark Fendrick -- co-director of the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design Center -- and Thomas Parry and Kimberly Jinnett, both of the Integrated Benefits Institute, say employers, as healthcare insurance consumers, should understand the full value of improved health, improved workforce productivity, and the cost of lost time and medical costs when determining healthcare investment.

"Employers can contribute greatly to the transformation of the health system by focusing on value and not simply on financing and who pays," Fendrick says in a statement. "It is imperative that we move beyond the current paradigm of exclusively measuring medical offsets, and include measurement of the effects in increased productivity that accompanies improvements in health."

For employers, as well as the broader healthcare consumer population, effects of health investments are traditionally measured in terms of medical costs and savings alone, but that approach ignores value and potential return on investment from health-related productivity increases, the researchers say.

The National Pharmaceutical Council funded and published the paper which is at:


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