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Just as employers are beginning to focus on “value-based decision making”- a plan that systematically lines up total benefits with corporate goals—you must also adopt a value-based method for health improvement. . What does this mean? In the employer world, it means that CEOs no longer equate the “cost of care” with the “cost of treatment,” such the cost of pills or physical therapy. Instead, they now add in the missed worked hours and days, the total costs of disability, and the unscheduled absences due to mismanaged or under-managed conditions. They are checking to see if their benefit design—the process for appointments, the costs of co-pays, the total number of EAP and mental health visits—are actually getting in the way of better health. They are realizing that sometimes the insurance plans they put into place are prohibiting the best care and the fastest return to work. And they know that when employees are healthy and focused on their work, they are more productive, leading to healthier bottom lines for the company.
Not surprisingly then, the employer is focusing more on ways to keep the employees and their families healthy. Why? Employers recognize that their employees (human capital) are an asset to be supported and that, when employees are present and focused on their work, productivity goes up and expenses, including health care and absenteeism, go down. This is an INVESTMENT strategy, one in which the employer measures return on investment (ROI) from different perspectives. While it may cost more in the short term, CEOs making INVESTMENT decisions understand the process for increasing WEALTH. They understand that the health of the workforce is the health of an ASSET, and that ASSETS have value. We see Value-Based Health Designs as a quickly-growing corporate strategy of successful CEOs.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|