The following is a list of upcoming events, programs, research, and tools in four key areas of IBI to help you plan ahead for 2019:

IBI is partnering with the Conference Board on a new national health and productivity conference to be held in Chicago in September. Conference and session sponsorship opportunities will be available, as will exhibit space. Additionally, IBI will hold four regional programs across the country. IBI also will host a new webinar series on IBI research reports and will expand IBINext offerings for emerging leaders in the health and productivity field.

IBI/Conference Board Health and Productivity Forum
A joint IBI-Conference Board national conference on health and productivity September 18-20, 2019 at the Swissotel Chicago. Forum content will focus on the interrelationships among four key topic areas: Health and wellbeing, medical and pharmacy plan design and care, absence, disability and productivity, and data, metrics and reporting. Further details can be found on the 2019 Forum page.

September 18-20, 2019

Submit 2019 Forum Proposals
Deadline to submit proposals for the 2019 IBI/Conference Board Health and Productivity Forum. You can learn more about the forum topics and submit your proposal here.

Due March 15, 2019

Forum Sponsorships
Sponsored plenary, breakout, and pre-conference sessions in addition to the limited number of un-sponsored breakout sessions. An exhibit hall also will be integrated into the event for the first time. you can learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

Prior to fall 2019

Regional Briefings
IBI will announce regional meetings it is hosting as they are scheduled.

Upcoming Regional Event: IBI and the Pacific Business Group on Health will be co-hosting an event on mental health in Oakland California on May 21, 2019. Details and registration.

Throughout 2019

IBINext Events
Two mid-year events are currently being planned to coincide with other meeetings. To be notified about IBINext events, you can signup, or nominated someone, to join IBINext at

Mid 2019

Research Report, Employer Case Study, and Educational Webinars
When applicable IBI will host webinars on new research case studies to enhance the usefulness of IBI’s work for employers and give supplier members the opportunity to bring their expertise to bear in providing practical guidance to employers. As they are scheduled, description and registration information will be listed here.

Throughout 2019

Events IBI Will Be Participating In
IBI staff participates in and moderates various panels at industry conferences. In 2019 IBI will involved in the following events:

  • The Conference Board Employee Healthcare Conference - San Diego, CA - March 18 - March 19
  • Houston Business Coalition on Health Meeting - Houston, TX - April 15 - April 16
  • Health Benefits Leadership Conference - Las Vegas, NV - April 24 - April 25
  • Mid-America Coalition Meeting - Kansas City, MO - May 1

IBI’s research will address a wide variety of important topics, including: (1) impact of consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) on workforce productivity, (2) misuse of and dependence on opioids and other substances and implications for workforce productivity, (3) downstream issues of total leave management, (4) linking health outcomes to business performance, (5) organi-zational culture and employee health engagement, (6) healthcare challenges for lower-wage workers and (7) how employers can best use patient-centered research.

Misuse of and dependence on opioids and other substances: implications for workforce productivity
Opioid misuse and dependence have emerged as one of the most challenging public health crises. This project will finalize preliminary analyses of Department of Health and Human Services survey data to raise awareness of opioid and other substance misuse as an urgent public health issue with particular productivity implications for employers. Substance abuse management best practices compiled from member experts will provide a checklist of considerations for employers, their supplier partners, and providers in occupational health.

Status: Publication targeted for Spring 2019

Get Involved: Contact Erin Peterson by February 28 to learn how you can share expert guidance on how employers can develop policies to prevent and mitigate the business impact of substance abuse

Healthcare challenges for lower wage workers
This project will look at issues of disease burden, access to quality care, and health care and lost productivity costs among lower wage workers. In addition to descriptions of outcomes for different socioeconomic groups of employees, the project will examine how employer policies such as benefit design and HR/health and productivity strategies influence lower wage workers' treatment, health and well-being, and productivity outcomes. It will also explore the evidence for whether benefit structure changes can lead to better treatment, health or productivity outcomes.

Status: Initial analyses complete. Drafting findings for review by Research Committee issue group members

Get Involved: Contact Erin Peterson to learn how you can share expert guidance for avoiding barriers to the use of necessary and beneficial care.

Organizational culture and engagement
This project will address different aspects of employee engagement, in the conventional sense of job commitment/satisfaction and in the sense of employees' take-up or participation in employers' benefit programs. Specifically, the project will look at the relationships between job and benefits engagement, downstream health and healthcare utilization, and workplace culture and other personal and environmental characteristics.

Status: IBI is seeking employer partners that collect information on organizational climate, program eligibility and participation, health risks, and work outcomes such as sick day and disability absences, individual performance

Get Involved: Contact Brian Gifford if you are an employer or have a client that is willing to provide information confidentially on your company's program engagement.

Total leave management
This project will look at the downstream, unintended impacts of leave management on patterns of treatment, health/well-being and productivity. A key issue is whether adopting policies (voluntarily or otherwise) for one category of leaves (e.g., parental leaves) imposes additional work responsibilities or stressors on other co-workers, increasing their risk for healthcare utilization, absences, turnover, or performance impairment. Barriers to the use of available leave and subsequent utilization of EAP and other support services (and whether these mitigate workplace issues), and the changing demands for leaves as the workforce ages will also be considered.

Status:Developing comparisons of state-level outcomes, avenues to gauge impact on non-leave takers

Get Involved: Contact Brian Gifford if you are an employer that is willing to discuss confidentially your company's experiences since adopting paid leave policies

A new entry in the HPICC series showing the health care and lost work time costs for chronic conditions.

Status: Draft completed. Release date TBA

Get Involved: Contact Brian Gifford to learn more about sponsoring reports on additional chronic health conditions.

Pain and productivity
An analysis of survey data linking musculoskeletal pain to key performance standards.

Status: Draft completed. Release date TBA

Get Involved: Contact Brian Gifford to learn how you can share expert guidance for developing pain management benefits.

Low back pain
An update to the HPICC series showing the health care and lost work time costs for chronic conditions.

Status: Draft completed. Release date TBA

Get Involved: Contact Brian Gifford to learn more about sponsoring reports on additional chronic health conditions.

How employers can best use patient-centered research
The Affordable Care Act provides funding to the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to financially support a variety of research projects on patient-centered healthcare. IBI is working with the National Alliance for Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions under a PCORI grant to better understand how employers can more effectively use patient-centered research to help employer improve a healthier and more highly performing workforce.

Linking Health and Productivity to Business Outcomes
IBI is working with a Board member to identify employers for a qualitative study of how companies establish linkages between workforce health, productivity and the performance of their business. The goal is to produce an IBI publication offering guidance on making the business case for efforts to promote a healthy, high-functioning workforce.

Late 2019

Impact of consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) on workforce productivity
The promise of CDHPs to insurers and employers is that enrolled employees will accrue lower health care costs by using fewer services that are not indicated for a condition or that deliver only marginally better results than lower-priced alternatives. The risk is that employees will reduce utilization in ways that increase long-term health care costs, such as forgoing preventive and diagnostic services or putting off treatment until complications arise. The result could be both higher medical and pharmacy spending and lower productivity – i.e., more illness-related absence and disability and lower on-the-job performance.

Late 2019

IBI will implement new technology and increase metrics sets in 2019 to expand the value of our industry-largest benchmarking program and models. In addition, we will continue to analyze key topics of interest through the claims-level experience represented in our database to produce practical insights for our members.

Implement new benchmarking reporting platform
IBI will implement a new technology platform for IBI benchmarking to replace industry summary reports and the Database Query tool. The new reporting platform will support a focus on the visual display of results, provide additional filter options beyond industry code and allow users to alter/run reports in real time and on mobile devices. IBI is currently evaluating four potential reporting platforms for implementation prior to the next reporting cycle.

Summer of 2019

Produce additional workers’ compensation metrics
IBI will continue to work with the Benchmarking Advisory Group to define new workers’ compensation metrics that best serve our members. When IBI revised its workers’ compensation reporting in 2016, we shifted from a single-year focus to a multi-year focus in order to provide a five-year claims experience view during each annual reporting cycle. After soliciting feedback from report users and Benchmarking Advisory Group members, we have begun working on a second set of workers’ compensation metrics that focus on calendar year experience. Implementing these new metrics will allow IBI to provide results from both reporting perspectives moving forward.

Available Now

Provide expanded STD, LTD and FMLA data tables
IBI is working with the Benchmarking Advisory Group on a set of supplemental data tables that can be easily integrated into our members’ internal client reporting systems. These supplemental data tables stratify results by many factors beyond SIC code (the primary focus of our Industry summary reports). Additional cut points will include location, employer size, plan design components, claimant wages, insurance type, ICD 10 diagnosis, reason for leave and claimant demographic information.

Available Now

Expand IBI Data Consortium
IBI has identified three potential additional sources of workers’ compensation claims data as well as two potential additional sources of FMLA leave data. Our 2019 goal is to add at least one additional data source for each program.

Calendar year 2019

Continue monthly IBI Benchmarking Analytics report series
IBI will continue to produce monthly reports that draws upon the questions frequently posed to us by members and highlights the capabilities of IBI’s disability and leave benchmarking database. Reports analyzing the impact of employer size on disability outcomes, the impact of lag time in reporting on workers’ compensation claims costs, and a multi-year analysis of the diagnoses driving disability claims are in development, with additional topic areas being discussed internally.

Ongoing through 2019 and beyond

Continue Health and Productivity Impact of Chronic Conditions (HPICC) series
To date, IBI has produced reports showing the combined treatment, sick day, and disability costs for five chronic health conditions—for the U.S. workforce as a whole and for major industrial sectors. With financial support from a Board member company, we are currently developing a report with updated costs for low back pain and a new report on osteoarthritis. Reports on additional conditions will be released to coincide with members' interests and in response to events of larger economic or social significance.

Late 2019

Re-issue Leave Management Benchmark surveys to support reports on specific types of leaves
IBI concluded its first round of Leave Management Benchmark analyses with the release of nine reports on various leave policies. Over 1,000 employers responded to the leave management survey, which combined questions about nine leave types. IBI will follow-up on the original reports with stand-alone surveys for the separate leaves. The order of the surveys will reflect the popularity of the original topics, beginning with maternity and parental leave policies.

Ongoing through 2019 and beyond

Explore technology platform for new interactive modeling tool (Diagnosis Analyzer)
IBI will continue its efforts to support members' interests in disability outcomes models at greater levels of diagnosis detail. Using Benchmarking claims from 2011 to 2017, we have developed a prototype Diagnosis Analyzer that models short- and long-term costs for disability incidents at the 3-character ICD-9 and ICD-10 levels. The prototype tool and report will be demonstrated for supplier members in early 2019. Pending member interest in an online, interactive tool, IBI will explore the feasibility of a variety of technology options for implementation.

Spring of 2019

IBI’s newest program is built on a novel technology platform that will allow employer members to connect with peers on common issues so that they may learn from the experience of their peers. The platform also provides confidential access to a broad range of subject-matter experts from the IBI solution-provider community to help provide additional insights and identify realistic and effective solutions.

IBI will be piloting IBIBridge with leading employer healthcare coalitions and interested solution providers. This will be a three month pilot prior to the full launch of the platform.

April 1, 2019

Program Launch
IBIBridge will be available to the general public after the initial pilot. Announcements on how to register will be forthcoming.

June 3, 2019