Integrated Absence Management: Cost Control vs. Productivity

DMEC Staff@Work

Medical Cost Control vs. Employee Productivity

Medical Costs vs ProductivityBy Glenn Pransky, MD

Scientific Advisor
Lincoln Financial Group

By Raymond DiGiovanni

AVP, Group Protection Product
Lincoln Financial Group

Direct costs of healthcare for U.S. workers has increased more than 65% over the last decade, virtually erasing wage gains over the same period. Unfortunately, strategies to contain these costs can backfire.

One such strategy has been promotion of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). These plans have decreased emergency room visits for minor illness, brand-name drug prescriptions, and expensive imaging; and have reduced premiums for many employers. But HDHP financial disincentives for seeking care have led to skipping important prescriptions, doctor visits, preventive exams, or diagnostic tests in almost half of those covered by these plans.1 This has led to worse health outcomes in some chronic illnesses.

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