How to Present the Business Case for Healthcare Quality to Employers
Many employers in the US are investing in new programmes to improve the quality of medical care and simultaneously shifting more of the healthcare costs to their employees without understanding the implications on the amount and type of care their employees will receive. These seemingly contradictory actions reflect an inability by employers to accurately assess how their health benefit decisions affect their profits. This paper proposes a practical method that employers can use to determine how much they should invest in the health of their workers and to identify the best benefit designs to encourage appropriate healthcare delivery and use. This method could also be of value to employers in other countries who are considering implementing programmes to improve employee health. The method allows a programme that improves workers' health to generate four financial benefits for an employer - reduced medical costs, reduced absences, improved on-the-job productivity, and reduced turnover - and uses accurate estimates of the benefits of reducing absences and improving productivity.
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