Integrated Benefits Institute Offers Tips to Help Employers Manage Health and Productivity Data

Jan 08, 2013, 11:39 ET from Integrated Benefits Institute

Employer case studies feature American Express, Barrette Outdoor Living, and O'Neal Industries

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --To assist employers faced with increasing amounts of data, which are often siloed within various benefits, human resources, safety and operational departments, the nonprofit Integrated Benefits Institute is making available a new resource to help employers measure and quantify the productivity consequences of workforce health. The report, Data Strategies for Managing Health and Productivity, features case studies from three employers on best practices and examines available tools to improve workforce health and productivity. The report was co-authored by John Riedel of Riedel & Associates Consultants Inc.


Employer case studies

Three employers of varying sizes and industries are featured in this report: American Express (AMEX), a large financial services company with 60,000 employees; O'Neal Industries, a mid-size metal-services business with 3,700 employees; and Barrette Outdoor Living, a small PVC and aluminum manufacturer with 725 employees. Each of these employers currently measures and tracks a variety of population health metrics in order to understand the full cost of poor health, and each is planning to capture a richer set of data on a limited set of metrics. Each has shared challenges as well as successes, and provides practical examples of how to overcome measurement barriers in managing workforce health and productivity.

"Employers know that the impact of workforce health goes far beyond expenses for medical care," said Thomas Parry, Ph.D., IBI president. "At the same time, employers often don't know what to ask for, are inundated with health-related benefits program data they don't need, or can't get the data they do need to make good decisions. This report gives concrete examples on how companies are managing health-related and productivity data to drive business results."

Principal research findings

  • A limited set of population health metrics can be used to effectively highlight the leading indicators of health, indicators of care and treatment, and lagging health indicators. Those metrics also can be used to communicate health strategies and business-relevant outcomes to senior management, to benefits program administrators and to business operations leaders.
  • Senior management buy-in is key to adopting a comprehensive approach to population health and productivity management.
  • Integrating data at the employee level supports tailored health interventions and can be undertaken while protecting employee confidentiality.
  • External benefits partners with expertise in data warehousing and data analysis are important to successful program implementation and evaluation.
  • Benefits supplier partners need to work together to provide data to the employer at a level of aggregation supporting population-health management.
  • Even smaller employers can successfully employ a data aggregation and population health management strategy.

"Data collection and analysis is key to developing a productive workforce," said John Riedel, president, Riedel & Associates Consultants, Inc. "Unfortunately, employers must get their arms around and understand data from a variety of sources including health claims, provider quality, absence, disability and wellness. By working with internal experts and supplier partners employers can maximize their data to design and evaluate programs that ensure the best results for their dollars, and ultimately a healthy workforce."

About Riedel & Associates Consultants
Riedel & Associates Consultants Inc. (RACI) designs, develops and implements unique resources for managing the health and productivity of an organization's primary asset: its employees. Since its inception in 1996, RACI has evolved to become a leader in measuring and managing the productivity outcomes of wellness and disease prevention initiatives.

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, research-based approaches, 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.

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Thomas Parry

SOURCE Integrated Benefits Institute