Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy: A Multiemployer Study


This study, sponsored by the National Pharmaceutical Council and published in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM), explored methodological refinements in measuring health-related lost productivity and assessed the business implications of a full-cost approach to managing health. After measuring productivity loss among 10 employers with 51,648 employee respondents and analyzing 1.13 million medical and pharmacy claims, researchers found that health-related productivity costs significantly exceed medical and pharmacy costs - on average 2.3 to 1. In addition, depression, obesity, arthritis, back and neck pain and anxiety drive the majority of costs when looking at both productivity and medical and pharmacy costs. The study also found presenteeism -- when employees with health conditions are present at their jobs but are unable to perform at full capacity -- to be a bigger drain on productivity than absenteeism.

Due to copyright issues, this study is only available through the JOEM website.

View the press release with further details, and watch the video with Dr. Ron Loeppke, executive vice president of Alere Inc., and Dr. Pamela Hymel, corporate medical director of integrated health at Cisco Systems, about the study's findings.