As we begin the new year, we would like to highlight the agenda that IBI’s Board of Directors and staff have created for 2019.

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of our initiatives. We look forward to working with you this year.

Research on critical areas of health and productivity

IBI’s research will address a wide variety of important topics, including: (1) impact of consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) on workforce productivity, (2) misuse of and dependence on opioids and other substances and implications for workforce productivity, (3) downstream issues of total leave management, (4) linking health outcomes to business performance, (5) organi-zational culture and employee health engagement, (6) healthcare challenges for lower-wage workers, and (7) how employers can best use patient-centered research.

Read more about the IBI research agenda

More accessible benchmarking and modeling tools

IBI will implement new technology and increase metrics sets in 2019 to expand the value of our industry-largest benchmarking program and models. In addition, we will continue to analyze key topics of interest through the claims-level experience represented in our database to produce practical insights for our members.

Read more about benchmarking and modeling tools

IBIBridge will provide a new way for employers to learn from each other and gain insights from subject-matter experts

IBI’s newest program is built on a novel technology platform that will allow employer members to connect with peers on common issues so that they may learn from the experience of their peers. The platform also provides confidential access to a broad range of subject-matter experts from the IBI solution-provider community to help provide additional insights and identify realistic and effective solutions. The program is being piloted early in the year with six leading employer healthcare collations and will be rolled out to the entire membership later in 2019.

Read more about IBIBridge

A new national conference partnership and expanded engagement opportunities

IBI is partnering with the Conference Board on a new national health and productivity conference to be held in Chicago in September. Conference and session sponsorship opportunities will be available, as will exhibit space. Additionally, IBI will hold four regional programs across the country. The first regional program will be held on February 12 in Washington DC in conjunction with the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The program will focus on how employers use health and healthcare evidence in decision making and will feature panels of employers, provider/practitioners and policymakers. IBI also will host a new webinar series on IBI research reports and will expand IBINext offerings for emerging leaders in the health and productivity field.

Read more about forum and communications

2019 IBI Research Agenda

1. Impact of consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) on workforce productivity

The promise of CDHPs to insurers and employers is that enrolled employees will accrue lower health care costs by using fewer services that are not indicated for a condition or that deliver only marginally better results than lower-priced alternatives. The risk is that employees will reduce utilization in ways that increase long-term health care costs, such as forgoing preventive and diagnostic services or putting off treatment until complications arise. The result could be both higher medical and pharmacy spending and lower productivity – i.e., more illness-related absence and disability and lower on-the-job performance. IBI is in discussion with a Board member organization to access data in support of analyses of cost-sharing, utilization, and lost work time. The findings may also bear on questions about the challenges facing lower-wage workers.

2. Misuse of and dependence on opioids and other substances: implications for workforce productivity

Opioid misuse and dependence have emerged as one of the most challenging public health crises. This project will finalize preliminary analyses of Department of Health and Human Services survey data to raise awareness of opioid and other substance misuse as an urgent public health issue with particular productivity implications for employers. Substance abuse management best practices compiled from member experts will provide a checklist of considerations for employers, their supplier partners, and providers in occupational health.

3. Total leave management

This project will look at the downstream, unintended impacts of leave management on patterns of treatment, health/well-being and productivity. A key issue is whether adopting policies (voluntarily or otherwise) for one category of leaves (e.g., parental leaves) imposes additional work responsibilities or stressors on other co-workers, increasing their risk for healthcare utilization, absences, turnover, or performance impairment. Barriers to the use of available leave and subsequent utilization of EAP and other support services (and whether these mitigate workplace issues), and the changing demands for leaves as the workforce ages will also be considered.

4. Linking Health and Productivity to Business Outcomes

IBI is working with a Board member to identify employers for a qualitative study of how companies establish linkages between workforce health, productivity and the performance of their business. The goal is to produce an IBI publication offering

guidance on making the business case for ef