"New Integrated Benefits Institute Report Finds Pharmaceutical Cost Shifting Leads to Increased Disability and Lost Productivity
San Francisco â€“ June 27, 2007 â€“ Medical costs, including drug expenditures, have continued to rise much faster than the rate of inflation, causing employers to use strategies to control costs for pharmaceuticals including higher copays, tiered benefit plans and higher deductibles. A new report released today by the nonprofit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) reveals that shifting costs to employees doesnâ€™t save employers money and discourages treatment essential to employeesâ€™ health-related productivity and quality of life."
Here's a key quote that all the cost-containers in Washington and those who want to set up a comparative effectiveness board should staple to their forehead, carefully, so all the air doesn't escape:
â€œAs employers understand that providing effective, available health care is an investment in human capital that will pay off in real dollars by decreasing overall health-related costs, they may want to rethink their approach to measuring and investing in employee health and productivity,â€ said Jack Mahoney, MD, medical director at Pitney Bowes. â€œThis is not only good for employers, but employees can benefit from less shifted costs and better health and quality of life.â€
Exactly. Dr. Mahoney articulated the humane, patient centered approach to medicine that the Beltway/Health Affairs/Kaiser/Commonwealth types have turned their backs on. Health care is a human and humane enterprise, not a rationing activity.
Thanks to IBI for restoring a moral and medical compass to the discussion of health care policy.