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Popul Health Manag. 2011 Apr;14(2):93-8. doi: 10.1089/pop.2010.0014. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Measuring health-related productivity loss.

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OptumHealth Culture of Health Institute, Golden Valley, Minnesota, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between health status and productivity loss and to provide estimates of the business implications of lost work performance. Health risk appraisal responses from over 1 million participants were analyzed to determine productivity loss associated with several common health conditions and health risks. Propensity scores and a matching technique were used to create analysis groups that differed only by presence of a particular health condition or risk. Results were monetized and multiplied by the average number of employees with conditions or risks to illustrate the potential impact of productivity loss to employers. Costs of productivity loss were compared to medical costs for the same conditions and health risks. Practical benchmarks of lost work performance may help employers assess the financial impact of suboptimal health in their own companies. Estimates of lost work time can help employers realize the value of maintaining a healthy population.

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