IBI Helps Employers Measure Health-related Business Costs with New Estimator

Dec 15, 2010, 11:10 ET from Integrated Benefits Institute

Tool assists employers in understanding all of their health and productivity costs as they implement benefits programs post health reform

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help U.S. employers better understand all of their health and productivity costs, the non-profit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) has developed a sophisticated new model – the Full Cost Estimator. As most employers manage benefits programs in multiple departments and through numerous suppliers, critical data often are missing or scattered. Additionally, the real but often unmeasured costs of health-related underperformance and lost productivity are considered so complex that most organizations don't know how to quantify them. Through IBI's Full Cost Estimator, an employer can consolidate the major components of health-related business costs into a single application to analyze where their programs are working and where there is room for improvement, even with limited data.

"As employers navigate health care reform and make the business case for health improvement, it's important that they understand the real impact of health and its business relevant outcomes," said Thomas Parry, PhD, IBI president. "This tool can play an important role in helping employers maximize the data they do have and fill in the blanks when data are unavailable."

The Full Cost Estimator draws on millions of disability claims in IBI's benchmarking databases, results from IBI's validated health assessment survey (HPQ-Select) developed in partnership with Professor Ron Kessler of Harvard Medical School, and nationally-representative databases (including the Center for Disease Control's National Health Interview Survey, AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics' Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program). Employers can customize benchmarks for major components of their health-related business costs into a single report including: sick-day absences and disability wage replacements; non-concurrent family medical leave absences; occupational and non-occupational medical and pharmacy claim costs; lost output due to presenteeism; and lost-productivity burdens from employee underperformance and lost workdays.

The Estimator will be used by employer participants in the American Health Strategy Project, a program of the National Business Coalition on Health, in cooperation with Pfizer Inc., which assists participating employers in taking a strategic approach to value-based health benefits. IBI's Estimator is one of the tools that will be used to assist participating employers in making better and more informed health-benefit decisions for their workforce.

Full Cost Estimator Steps

An employer starts by creating a benchmark for its company using its industry and workforce size. The Estimator also permits consideration of workforce demographics, health and absence policies and the employer's own benefits experience data for true "apples-to-apples" benchmarks. The results are a clear overview of an employer's major health, lost-time and lost-productivity cost drivers.

About the Integrated Benefits Institute

The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) provides employers and their supplier partners with resources for demonstrating the business value of health. As a pioneer, leader and nonprofit supplier of health and productivity research, measurement and benchmarking, IBI is a trusted source for benefits performance analysis, practical solutions, and forums for information and education. IBI's programs, resources and expert member networks advance understanding about the link between – and the impact of – health-related productivity on corporate America's bottom line. For additional information visit: ibiweb.org.

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Thomas Parry


SOURCE Integrated Benefits Institute