Investing in worker health and, in the process, preventing disability and serious illness, can lead to both an increase in standards of living for employees and cost savings for employers.
To encourage a healthier workforce, the National Pharmaceutical Council has sponsored a number of studies that examine the impact of worker health on productivity. One two-part study, Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy, found that employers who focus only on medical and pharmacy costs in creating employee health strategies may misidentify the health conditions that most impact the productivity of their employees -- while underestimating the impact of other factors. In particular, presenteeism -- when employees with health conditions are present at their jobs but are unable to perform at full capacity -- often causes a greater drain on a company’s productivity than employee absence.
Understanding these health conditions and other factors that impact their workforce can help employers to design an effective insurance benefit. One model that is increasingly being used by employers is value-based insurance design (VBID), which encourages the use of medically necessary therapies and services and reduces barriers to access for these services. Under a VBID program, the more clinically beneficial a therapy is for a patient, the lower the patient’s cost share.
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