More Employers Join Health and Productivity Management Bandwagon

January 25, 2010 ( – A new report indicates a significant hike in the number of employers implementing health and productivity management (HPM) programs.

A news release from the San Francisco-based Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) asserted that HPM efforts could be a critical component of employers’ efforts to deal with the employee health care coverage issue – particularly in light of pending health care reform efforts.

A Harris Interactive survey of 450 employers conducted for IBI found that:

  • Two-thirds of employers expect a net increase in resource commitments to HPM over the next two years, while only 4% expect a net decrease.  In many cases, employers say they plan to add financial resources to their existing HPM programs.
  • Employers consider disease management initiatives most important to their HPM efforts, though those practices are less commonly offered than those in health promotion.
  • Most employers have some form of HPM practices in place, with wide variation in the types offered. Of the three broad program categories surveyed, some form of health promotion is almost universally offered (98% of survey participants), followed by disease management (91%) and disability return-to-work (RTW) programs (85%).
  • One in three employers does not measure absence and productivity outcomes from its HPM efforts. Employers more frequently measure sick days and disability absences – usually through administrative and claims data – than they measure presenteeism or health-related lost productivity. Employers recognize the value (in both money and effort) of measuring outcomes but typically cite insufficient resources as reasons for not doing so.

“Given the current economic conditions and the state of health care, employers need every way possible to improve the productivity of their workforces. Employee health is a key part of that equation,” said Thomas Parry, President of IBI, in the news release. “Rather than cutting HPM programs, our research indicates that these types of programs are becoming a key part of their business strategy.”

The survey report can be ordered from here.