CFOs See Employee Health as Important for Business

February 13, 2012 ( - According to new research from the non-profit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), America's CFOs understand the significant impact employee health has on financial performance and are playing an increasing role in health investment decisions.

IBI’s report, Making Health the CFO’s Business, found more than two-thirds of CFOs surveyed agree that health is a cultural or financial priority in their organizations. The belief that providing comprehensive health coverage is important for their company’s financial strategy is even stronger, with 75% responding that they agree.  

More than 90% of CFOs surveyed believe that improving health is at least a moderately important contributor to workforce productivity.   

More than 80% of CFOs report that finance professionals play a role in their organization’s healthcare benefits decisions, usually in collaboration with human resources, executive leadership, and often with operations. CFOs say they face substantial deficits of information they would view as helpful in making health-improvement decisions, such as impact of health on work performance or quality and return on investment analysis from health interventions.   

 “Companies that integrate wellness as part of their culture consider it a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” said Andy Hunzeker, CFO, Lincoln Industries. “CFOs at companies with a strong culture of health—and those who receive health and productivity management program results in terms of their firm’s strategic financial goals—are more likely than others to recognize that workforce health impacts financial success in more ways than just health care expenses.  

The research suggests a variety of practical steps for both the CFOs and the benefits professionals who work with them. Credible information and methods for measuring health risks and outcomes beyond medical and pharmacy costs (such as lost time, health-related performance and lost productivity) are critical. It’s important that CFOs partner with those in their organization that can provide metrics and sources to help them understand the full impacts of health interventions.   

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