Lost Costs: Lost Productivity Represents Half of Health Costs for U.S. Employers

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

First published 3/3/11 on Health Populi

51% of total health costs are attributed to lost productivity at work in terms of on-the-job performance and absence. The other 49% is made up of direct medical costs (27%) and wage replacements (22%). Thus, most health care ‘costs’ to employers aren’t in the medical care or insurance line item at all — they’re in productivity.

”The ultimate ‘good’ to be purchased from our health care ‘system’ is the overall health of Americans,” asserts a new report, Synergies at Work: Realizing the Full Value of Health Investments, from researchers at the Center for Value-Based Insurance Design at the University of Michigan (my alma mater) and the Integrated Benefits Institute. The study was sponsored by the National Pharmaceutical Council. The report was published in February 2011.

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