This report is a follow-up to an IBI report published earlier in 2010 on employers’ health and productivity management (HPM) programs. IBI, with Harris Interactive (authors of the Harris Poll), polled 450 employers in summer 2009 to detail the prevalence of prevention, wellness, disease management and disability-management/return-to-work initiatives they implement; their plans over the next two years; the goals for these programs; the measures used to assess key program outcomes; and their views of how well HPM initiatives are meeting the desired goals.
This report discusses in more detail employer opinions about the relative success of the various HPM programs in meeting their health-related goals. Generally, employers report that their important HPM practices have a positive effect on their health and productivity goals. HPM practices have the highest impact in reducing sick-day/disability absence outcomes, followed by reductions in medical/pharmacy costs, health-related lost productivity and presenteeism. Results also show that high-impact practices often are less prevalent than low impact practices. Several practices have relatively high impacts across several health outcomes measured—sick-day/disability absences, medical/pharmacy costs and health-related lost productivity—and thus, may be viewed as best practices. Nurse case management positively impacts all three HPM outcomes, while five other practices span two HPM outcomes.
Results show that employers vote with their pocketbooks to sustain HPM programs despite a general lack of empirical data on the outcomes of these efforts.