NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, digital health platform Zocdoc is introducing Unsick Day – a new type of day off for employees across America. An Unsick Day is a dedicated day off – without penalty and with companies' explicit permission and encouragement – for employees to go to the doctor when they are not sick. Unsick Day will empower American workers to take care of important preventive care check-ups like annual physicals, skin screenings and dental cleanings that are often neglected due to workplace pressures and obligations. In collaboration with a group of distinguished partners, Zocdoc is introducing this new benefit to its employees and calling on forward-thinking companies nationwide to do the same.
In today's workplace culture, there is a dangerous conflict between work and health. Employees rarely leave their desks for lunch, let alone to visit the doctor for important check-ups. According to a new survey commissioned by Zocdoc, three out of five (60%) American workers feel uncomfortable leaving work for preventive care appointments, with half saying their employer or company culture makes them feel this way. This leads to nearly nine in ten (86%) workers admitting they would cancel or reschedule a preventive care appointment due to workplace pressures. Unsick Day aims to change this adversarial relationship between work and health by encouraging employers to create a culture of permissiveness around preventive care.
"Most of us know that going to the doctor for a check-up is important, but all too often, the pressures and expectations of work take precedence," said Oliver Kharraz, MD, Zocdoc Founder and CEO. "Even at the most progressive companies, many employees worry that they will be judged or penalized if they take time off for a routine check-up. As business leaders, it's not enough to simply offer healthcare benefits. We have to be more proactive in empowering employees to take care of themselves."
Zocdoc along with the founding partners of Unsick Day – Buffer, Capsule, Everyday Health Inc., Foursquare, Greatist, Greenhouse, Handy, Oscar, Sailthru, Virgin Hotels and ZOLA – have already collectively granted their team members thousands of Unsick Days to use in 2017. In addition, CEOs and executives at these companies will lead by example and take an Unsick Day themselves.
Health-focused organizations such as the American Public Health Association are also supporting this initiative, which emphasizes a greater workplace focus on preventive care.
"As a nation, we often neglect our health when we're well. But with seven in 10 U.S. deaths related to preventable diseases, empowering Americans to utilize preventive care services is critical," said Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. "Employers play an important role in assuring access to care for many Americans, and better workplace incentives will lead to positive benefits for individuals and businesses alike."
Currently, a majority of adults in the U.S. receive health insurance coverage from their employer; and under the Affordable Care Act, employer-sponsored health insurance plans are required to cover a range of preventive care services. However, according to Zocdoc's survey, only one in four (25%) American workers say they have utilized all of their preventive health benefits, meaning companies are spending millions on benefits that are going to waste.
Ultimately, when employers are proactive in encouraging and empowering employees to get the preventive care they need, everybody wins. Employees who take time to go to their important preventive check-ups stay healthier, longer; and healthier employees lead to better workplace productivity. Plus, according to Zocdoc's survey, nearly half (49%) of American workers are more likely to choose or stay with a company that offers time off for preventive care.
To learn more about Unsick Day and get involved, employers and employees can visit www.unsickday.com. This site includes information on the initiative and tools to make Unsick Day a reality in workplaces across the country. Americans who do not have employer-sponsored insurance can visit www.healthcare.gov. Open enrollment for 2017 coverage begins on November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017.
Additional Zocdoc/Kelton Global Survey Highlights
- The majority (51%) of employed Americans would be more likely to go to their preventive care appointments if they were encouraged to do so by their team or employer.
- More than two in five (42%) American workers never see their CEO leave work for preventive care appointments, and 29% say the same about their manager.
- Two out of three (66%) American workers said they're more likely to miss work for a doctor's appointment when they are sick, as opposed to for a routine preventive check-up.
- Half (50%) of American workers think missing work for preventive care appointments may hurt their chances at getting promoted.
- Nearly one in five (19%) American workers would be more likely to leave work to vote than for a preventive care appointment.
- Nearly one in five (18%) employed Americans are more likely to leave work for a pet's appointment than for their own preventive care.
- Men are 60% more likely than women (40% vs. 25%) to say they always or frequently take time off work for preventive care appointments.
- Millennials are 31% more likely than their colleagues ages 35 and up (71% vs. 54%) to feel uncomfortable leaving work for preventive care appointments.
About the Survey
The Zocdoc Unsick Day Survey was conducted August 10-17, 2016 by Kelton Global among 2,009 employed Americans 18 and over, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 2.2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level; the margin of error for any subgroups will be slightly higher.
Zocdoc is the tech company at the beginning of a better healthcare experience. Each month, millions of patients use Zocdoc to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, see what other real patients have to say, get reminders for upcoming appointments and preventive check-ups, fill out their paperwork online, and more. With a mission to give power to the patient, Zocdoc's online marketplace delivers the accessible, seamless and simple experience patients expect and deserve. Zocdoc is free for patients and available across the United States via Zocdoc.com or the Zocdoc app for iPhone and Android.
Jaime Askew l firstname.lastname@example.org l 646.783.3908
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