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Investing in Culture of Health is a Key Success Strategy for Employers

By Ray Fabius/Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ray Fabius imageThe dynamic changes occurring in the health care insurance industry address two key, related questions: Should employers provide health insurance for their workforce and families? And related to that, can changes in benefit design or coverage models mollify the escalation in health care costs?

Many employers are at their wits end. With medical and premium costs accelerating at 2-3 times general inflation, this benefit is eating into profit margins and preventing companies from offering significant wage increases. However since people with coverage receive better care and as a consequence are generally healthier, and a healthy worker is more productive, it seems logical that employers provide this benefit.


What is not logical is expecting benefit design changes or health coverage administration models to improve the health of workforces to the extent necessary to stem the cost trends. Rather, employers must adopt benchmark efforts to build cultures of health inside their organizations. Companies that have done this enjoy flat health care cost trends and improved workforce performance. The starting point is building an understanding of what ails their covered lives, through data analysis integrating claims information with laboratory and pharmacy data, and then delivering programs that reduce the illness burden. Additionally employers must promote wellness and invest in risk reduction. Building health into a corporate strategy is good for the workforce and good for business.

Ray Fabius MD
Chief Medical Officer
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Categories: Employer