• Promoting a Healthier Workforce

    Health and Productivity Management

  • Workforce Health and Productivity Summit

    Why is a National Summit on Health and Productivity Management Needed?

    The health care crisis in the United States must be addressed urgently – and workforce health is a vital part of the discussion.

    • When an employer’s medical/pharmacy costs are added to health-related productivity costs such as absenteeism and presenteeism (a condition in which employees are on the job but not fully productive), the average estimated full-cost impact in the United States is nearly $13,000 per employee.1, 2 Using U.S. Department of Labor statistics showing approximately 137 million non-farm employees in the United States, the overall annual cost impact on the workplace is an estimated $1.7 trillion.
    • Chronic health conditions are on the rise in the United States, and it is estimated that in the near future conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer will cost employers heavily as they provide medical benefits for employees and absorb the costs of long- and short-term disability claims.3  Almost 50 percent of Americans have at least one chronic health condition, and of these, almost half have multiple chronic conditions.4 A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Johns Hopkins estimated that more than 80 percent of medical spending goes toward care for chronic health conditions.5
    • Both public and private sector leaders have begun to understand that the future of the nation’s economy and entitlement programs is inextricably linked to a healthy, well-functioning workforce. The employer perspective is key here, as the workplace (employer and employee contributions combined) accounts for well over half of the funding for the American healthcare system.6
    • In an environment in which health costs are skyrocketing, health-improvement measures aimed at the nation’s millions of workers could have significant long-term impact, potentially saving hundreds of billions in long-term health costs.7
    • Without a healthy, able and available workforce, the United States will find it difficult to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. 


    1. Loeppke R, Taitel M, Richling D, et al. “Health and Productivity as a Business Strategy,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2007;49:712-721.

    2. Towers Perrin Annual Health Care Cost Survey, 2008

    3. Thorpe K. Factors accounting for the rise in health care spending in the United States: the role of rising disease prevalence and treatment intensity. Public Health. 2006;120:1002-7.

    4. "Chronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care," September 2004 Update to “Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge,” a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

    5. Ibid

    6. 2007 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey

    7. Loeppke R. The value of health and the power of prevention. Int J Workplace Health Manage. 2008;1(2)95-108.