Top One Percent of Highest-Paid Employees Account for Most Medical Costs
A single high-cost employee in the workforce can cost a business more than $100,000 each year according to a new study by Healthentic, a research firm that provides health analytics for businesses. The study documents just how expensive top-paid employees can be.
“The fact that employers can save more than $110,000 by preventing just one high-cost member is pretty eye-opening and shows why it’s so important for organizations to understand their population’s health and how it impacts their bottom line,” Healthentic COO Sean Gallivan said.
Employers paid $113,379 in medical and pharmacy expenses for each high-cost member (defined as $50,000 or more annually), compared to $2,751 for other employees. The percentage of total costs attributed to high-cost patients ranged from a low of 8 percent to a high of 41 percent, with a median of 26 percent.
Three conditions: cancer, chronic kidney failure and complicated births, are the biggest contributors to the high-cost category. As a result, Healthentic recommends that businesses:
- Promote evidence-based cancer screening.
- Effectively manage diabetes and hypertension.
- Make case management available for high-risk pregnancies and complicated births.
Researchers looked at 28 different organizations with at least 1,000 insured members.