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Are Hospital Employees Sicker Than Average?

A new report suggests they are. Analyzing insurance claims data from its MarketScan databases, Thomson Reuters researchers found:

  • Healthcare costs were 10% higher for hospital employees when compared to the general employee population across all business sectors.
  • Health risks for hospital workers and their dependents were 8.6% higher.
  • Hospital workers and their families were 22% more likely to visit the ER, 18% more likely to be hospitalized, yet had fewer physician office visits than the general population.

This raises challenges and opportunities for hospitals to control costs, redesign health benefits, and ensure more effective wellness programs. It may also create credibility issues if a hospital is less effective in managing its own employee health well.

The recent American Hospital Association’s report, A Call to Action: Creating a Culture of Health, provides more background on promoting hospital employee health and wellness.

Source: Sicker and costlier: healthcare utilization of U.S. hospital employees. Thomson Reuters Research Brief, Aug. 2011. http://interest.healthcare.thomsonreuters.com/forms/EMP-201109HHEReportRequestForm [free registration required to view/download]

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org