IBI Survey: U.S. Businesses Say Health and Productivity Management Programs Work; Weight Management Efforts Viewed as Critical by Employers

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Additional best practices include nurse case management, transitional return-to-work, health risk coaching, on-site providers and participation incentives

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Weight management efforts meet both the medical/pharmacy cost savings goal as well as reducing the lost-productivity costs of ill health, making adoption of weight management a best practice for many employers. Other such best practices help employers achieve multiple goals including savings in medical/pharmacy costs, health-related lost productivity and sick-day/disability absences.

Today the non-profit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), released its analysis of the health and productivity management (HPM) practices of 450 U.S. employers indicating that HPM has a positive impact on their health and productivity goals. This analysis is a follow up to an IBI report released earlier this year finding broad adoption of prevention, wellness, disease management and disability-management/return-to-work (RTW) initiatives by employers.

“That employers are sustaining and adding to their HPM programs despite a general lack of empirical data on the outcomes of these efforts suggests the increasing prominence of workforce health as a business strategy,” said Thomas Parry, PhD, president of IBI. “Weight management efforts meet both the medical/pharmacy cost savings goal as well as reducing the lost-productivity costs of ill health, making adoption of weight management a best practice for many employers. Other such best practices help employers achieve multiple goals including savings in medical/pharmacy costs, health-related lost productivity and sick-day/disability absences.”

Additional research findings include:

  • HPM practices have a particularly strong, positive impact on employee satisfaction. While employee satisfaction is not a traditional health and productivity outcome, this finding is a significant indicator that a health and productivity program is an important investment for employers interested in attracting and retaining key workers by building a culture of health.
  • Several practices have high impact across several outcomes. Six practices – nurse case management, transitional RTW, health risk coaching, on-site providers, participation incentives and weight management – have positive impacts on at least two important health and productivity outcomes and therefore should be considered an essential part of an effective and efficient HPM program.
  • No single HPM program area has a lock on high-impact practices. Among the top 10 high-impact practices, four are associated with disability management/return to work, four are related to health promotion and two are associated with disease management.

A summary of the report is available to the public at ibiweb.org. The full report also is available to IBI members.

About the Integrated Benefits Institute
The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) provides employers and their supplier partners with resources for demonstrating the business value of health. As a pioneer, leader and nonprofit supplier of health and productivity research, measurement and benchmarking, IBI is a trusted source for benefits performance analysis, practical solutions, and forums for information and education. IBI’s programs, resources and expert networks advance understanding about the link between – and the impact of – health-related productivity on corporate America’s bottom line. For additional information visit: ibiweb.org.

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