Value Purchasing: Investing in Women's Health
June 17, 1999
In conjunction with the Washington Business Group on Health, the Jacobs Institute convened a conference to discuss ways in which employers can benefit from investing in women's health.
Dr. Eileen Hoffman summed up the current situation: "If corporate America has decided that health care should be employer based, then employers have a financial and social responsibility to ensure that costs are contained and quality is assured." Hoffman went on to emphasize the importance of looking at how widespread non-gendered conditions, such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and depression affect men and women differently.
Mary Anne Hraba recommended that companies establish long-term partnerships with insurers. Multi-years contracts offer the insurer an incentive to improve care. Companies with these partnerships "are more likely to see a health plan as an investment in human capital and use it as a tool to attract workers and increase retention."
Another tip to employers is to regularly evaluate health care benefits, through audits and performance standards. Companies who did this had higher employee satisfaction, incurred lower cost increases and improved productivity.
Hraba also praised employers who sponsor their own health programs, such as mammography and osteoporosis screening. Hraba claimed that companies received a $2 payoff for every $1 invested and that employees who participate in such programs are more productive.
Mary Jane England, MD, President of the Washington Business Group on Health; Eileen Hoffman, MD;
Mary Anne Hraba, Watson-Wyatt.