Declining workplace health costs hospital employers

Although hospital staff work to improve the health of patients, their own health seems to be slipping, and it's costing hospital employers a pretty penny. Between 2005 and 2009 the health of the U.S. workforce dropped 2 percent, costing employers an average $670 a year to address their healthcare issues, concludes a new study by Thomson Reuters.

The Thomson Reuters U.S. Workforce Wellness Index examined risk factors including body mass, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and tobacco use.

Of the money spent each year by employers, $400 was linked to obesity, and $150 was related to elevated levels of blood glucose.

"These unhealthy behaviors are leading to $670 of healthcare expenditure annually and that $670 is just based on medical costs and pharmacy costs," Raymond Fabius, Thomson Reuters' chief medical officer, tells Healthcare Finance News. "So it doesn't include the costs that are related to absenteeism, presenteeism and disability."

Fabius recommends that employers utilize health risk appraisals, biometric screenings, health coaches and care managers to improve the health of their workforces.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the Thomson Reuters report