Monday, October 15, 2012

Study: Hospital Employees Less Healthy, Cost More Than General Workforce

Today, we released a new whitepaper: 10 Steps to Developing a Culture of Health for Hospital and Health System Employers, which outlines unique healthcare challenges faced by hospital workers and offers a framework for population health management in the hospital setting. The research paper found that hospital employees are more likely to be diagnosed with asthma, obesity, and depression, and those with chronic conditions are more likely to be in the “at risk” or “struggling” categories. Hospital workers and their dependents are also 5 percent more likely to be hospitalized than the overall U.S. workforce.
In addition, the study found that health benefits costs consume 4 percent of hospital operating revenue. For the average medium-size community hospital, healthcare benefits for employees and their families consumed 68 percent of operating profit, or all operating profit generated from January 1st until the end of August each year.
The study analyzed the health risk and healthcare utilization of 740,000 hospital workers and their dependents and compared them with 25 million employees and their dependents across industries for 2010. It found that a hospital or health system with 16,000 employees stands to save an estimated $1.59 million annually in medical and pharmacy costs for each 1 percent reduction in health risk. 

Among the best practices outlined for developing a culture of health and reducing health risk in the hospital setting are steps such as: analyzing the health risk of the specific population, defining clear goals and quality objectives, getting buy-in from senior management, establishing a measurement strategy, and measuring progress while adjusting programs accordingly. The paper also provides a foundation for understanding how these concepts could apply to the broader development of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

For a copy of the full study, click here.

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