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