Predictive analytics, interventions equal reduction in short-term disability
The report, published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was based on a study of 118,000 workers. The research focused on the validity of the global health service company's predictive analytics model to identify employees at high risk of STD and evaluated the impact of a health advocate nurse-led intervention on the incidence of STD claims among employees at high risk.
"By identifying customers at high risk of a future short-term disability and providing individualized intervention that includes coaching, incentives and other outreach, our study shows that the onset of disability absence can be measurably reduced, benefitting both employers and employees alike," said Dr. Robert N. Anfield, chief medical officer for Cigna's disability business. "Future studies should address how intervention impacts short-term disability duration, return-to-work rates, and total medical costs."
About half of adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with one or more chronic disorders, according to the study. "On average, for every dollar spent on medical or pharmacy costs, there are 2.3 dollars of health-related productivity costs associated with absenteeism and presenteeism with the highest lost productivity evident for employees with multiple comorbid conditions."
Current research into the costs associated with chronic conditions generally has not integrated predictive analytics to identify employees at highest risk for disorders associated with absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity, the authors say. "The application of predictive analytics to identify these individuals provides the opportunity to offer proactive health interventions that may reduce the incidence of lost productivity."
Employees of 24 employers were identified by the predictive model as high risk for short-term disability, and randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Those in the intervention group had a nurse health advocate-led intervention that included proactive outreach, clinical assessment and a range of disability absence prevention strategies.
"The intervention resulted in a short-term disability incidence rate of 16.8 percent vs. 19.8 percent for those not in the intervention group, overall a 15 percent relative reduction in incidence of disability," the authors said. "The combination of predictive analytics and proactive, nurse-led outreach offers promise as an intervention strategy that may reduce the likelihood of STD."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 10, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications