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Research By IBI Finds Health And Productivity Programs Critical To U.S. Business Employees

Health and productivity management (HPM) programs are vital to business in the U.S. "burdened with the declining health of their employees, growing pressures of lost worktime, increasing healthcare costs and global competition, and the uncertainty of healthcare reform," according to the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI).

The nonprofit IBI conducted a survey of nearly 500 employers and their employees’ perspective on HPM programs being implemented, as well as a look ahead at the next two years.

According to the findings, some form of health promotion is almost universally offered, at 98 percent ofsurvey participants, with disease management offered to 91 percent, and disability return-to-work programs at 85 percent. Employers responded that disease management initiatives were most important to their HPM efforts.

Two-thirds of employers were expecting a net increase in resource commitments to HPM over the next two years, while only 4 percent expect a net decrease.

It was also discovered that employers measure sick days and disability absences more than they measured presenteeism or health-related lost productivity, through administrative and claims data.

One in three employers do not measure absence and productivity outcomes from its HPM efforts at all.

However, employer use of HPM was shown to significantly increase over the past five years.

"Given the current economic conditions and state of healthcare, employers need every way possible to improve the productivity of their workforce," said Thomas Parry, PhD, president of IBI. "Employee health is a key part of that equation. Rather than cutting HPM programs, our research indicates that these types of programs are becoming a key part of their business strategy."

A summary of the report can be found at ibiweb.org, with a full report available to IBI members. The results and their implications were also presented at the 2010 IBI/NBCH Health & Productivity Forum held on Feb. 8-10 in San Antonio, Texas.

Address: Integrated Benefits Institute, 595 Market St., Suite 810, San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 222 7280, www.ibiweb.org.


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