Another in our series of Potpourris, tasty, succulent morsels of health data food, including this week the effect of mammography screening, improving health and health costs, state costs to run health insurance exchanges, family caregiving and the costs of fixing Medicare’s physician reimbursement.
Employee benefits consulting firm releases results from its latest survey of employers on health benefits. While spending growth has moderated in recent years, it continues at an above inflation and GDP rate of increase and employers are using multiple strategies to shift cost to employees and contain spending.
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research explores whether increased cost-sharing in health care coverage has affected the productivity of employees subject to this greater out-of-pocket spending for health care. They find that workers with higher cost-sharing have more absenteeism but not more short-term disability stays.
Yet another survey of the employer market, this one from Aon Hewitt, which also reflects views of employees covered under their companies’ health plans. Aon Hewitt finds that employers are stepping up their level of action in regard to designing and operating health plans and other programs to encourage better health.
The Kaiser Family Foundation published its annual survey on Employer Health Benefits. While the rate of growth in both single and family health insurance premiums has slowed, it is still well above inflation, wage growth or GDP growth and while employee cost-sharing is relatively flat, the amount spent on health insurance by the average employee continues to grow far faster than income.
Another sunny Potpourri, brightening your day with rays of data on hospital at home; Medicare care coordination programs; an employer survey on impacts of the reform law; a survey on health habits and employee productivity; first quarter health plan results and ER use and end-of-life care.
A study from Truven Health Analytics looks at likely outcomes from the reform law’s provide insurance or pay a penalty provisions, suggesting that few employers would likely drop coverage, but some assumptions in the model appear to have flaws.
A group of health care organizations has produced a guidance for employer-sponsored wellness programs with incentives, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The statement is supportive of these programs, although expressing some reservations about incentive use.