Video Blog

Exploring Employee Health Trends 2022

An informative interview with our population health practice leader, Jennifer Jones, aired on Yahoo Finance Live.

Unknown Speaker  0:00 
Welcome back, we'll be coming down in the country but the residual effects on society, particularly employers, do remain here with further insight on this. Let's bring in your finance editor, Adriana Belmonte, along with Springbuk, population health practice leader, Jennifer Jones. Adriana.

Adriana Belmonte  0:18 
Yeah, hi, Jennifer, in taking a look at this report, I think it's pretty crazy that those who are hospitalized for COVID end up incurring 10 times more health care costs than those who didn't need hospitalization. So talk to us a little bit about these findings here in your report.

Jennifer Jones  0:34 
Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me today. And, you know, we really we put these trends reports together really to help employers identify what those key trends are, as they begin their planning for their benefits for their employees. And this is definitely one of the ways that they can use this data to really help maximize the management, their health investments. So this report, as far as for this year is really based on more than 4000 employers aggregate data that we have in our system. But as you mentioned, you know, it's really staggering as far as we began to look into the data as far as the impact of COVID. And really being able to try to explore what that impact is beyond just the initial acute phase of the infection, when we began to see it really separate out as far as those that were hospitalized versus non, it's pretty miraculous, as far as you know, a 70% increase from the same or similar timeframe from 2019 of those that were hospitalized. What what was significant about that, as we didn't necessarily see them, you know, really leveling off as far as with their trends, as far as their costs until about month, four, month five after the initial acute infection. Now with a non hospitalized, they still saw about a 25% increase per individual as well. But we definitely saw a leveling off of their cost well into month two as far as after that initial acute diagnosis.

Belmonte  1:56 
So talk about some of the long-term implications for this, I guess, to start off with employers, what does it mean for them, especially as they're the ones providing health care to their employees? 

Jones  2:06 
It's definitely key as far as now that we have some of this quantitative measure, they can begin to really understand what the risk is, as far as within their own population, it's really important for employers to know what that underlying risk is, with those hospitalized individuals for COVID. We know that they had a lot of commonalities as far as with other conditions as far as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and other health issues. So knowing you need to know what exists as far as within your population. How many diabetics do you have? How many people with hypertension Do you have? And be able to associate some cost as far as with risk and understanding? What can you do today to really help members to address those specific chronic conditions? So if they do become infected with COVID in the future, ideally, they wouldn't have to be hospitalized and be able to avoid the significant cost increases that we saw.

Belmonte  3:03 
And this is trickle down to employees, even employees who maybe haven't been hospitalized for COVID. Yet, or maybe, you know, won't be at all, but this is affect them in terms of how much they're going to pay for their premiums down the line.

Jones  3:18 
That wasn't necessarily the scope as far as how we wanted to look at this. But when you think about healthcare in general, there's definitely you know, if there is an increase in ongoing costs to the employer, there's certainly always the, you know, opportunity for them to potentially pass on some of those increases in cost to the employee as far as with premiums. But I think, you know, the big takeaway, here again, is knowing what that risk is intervening and being able to manage those chronic conditions, to help individuals make sure that they're not put in a position as far as where they're hospitalized with COVID. Now, we still have the continuance as far as what we call long COVID that we need to make sure that we're addressing and dealing with But ideally, you know, making sure we're following through with practices we know can help spread COVID And what we can do as far as to ensure again, that we're not ending up in the hospital as far as with those more severe cases to really help mitigate that cost going forward for both the employees and then also the employers.

Belmonte  4:18 
Okay, well, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today, Jennifer. Back to you, Alexis.

Unknown Speaker  4:24 
Our thanks so much. Adriana. We appreciate it straight ahead. We sit down with the new president of the New York Stock Exchange Lynn Martin, so don't go away.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

Jennifer Jones, MSM RD, Enterprise Market Leader
Jennifer Jones, MSM, RD, is an experienced healthcare professional with a background in clinical dietetics, wellness programming, and employer health, and is a certified Corporate Wellness Specialist.

With over 20 years of experience, she has worked in various settings including health care systems, occupational health organizations, and a health and welfare benefits advisory firm. After working directly with patients and employees, Jennifer turned her focus to population and employer health to achieve a greater impact on health outcomes.