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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Monday, March 26, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Having worked in two Philadelphia area hospitals for several years, I can honestlty say that the new report from Thomson Reuters is rather spot on.

The study indicates that hospital employees have 10 percent higher healthcare costs than the general population and are less healthy. The average annual healthcare cost for a hospital employee and his or her dependents was $4,662, outpacing the general population by $538.

The report also found hospital employees were also more likely to be diagnosed with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes.

"Ideally, the healthcare workforce would be a model for healthy behaviors and the appropriate use of medical resources," said Dr. Raymond Fabius, chief medical officer for the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters. "Unfortunately, our data suggests that the opposite is true today. Hospitals that tackle this issue can strengthen their business peformance and community service."

It seems that hospital workers are among the unhealthiest of us all. And—hold on to your stethoscopes--there's actual science to back up that claim. A new Thomson Reuters Healthcare study says that hospital workers not only are generally sicker than the general population, but that they spend about 10% more on healthcare services and consume more of those services.

The study analyzed the health risk and utilization of 1.1 million hospital workers and compared them with 17.8 million health plan members across all industries nationwide.

Among the interesting nuggets:

Hospital employees and their dependents saw their physicians less often than the general public, but were 22% more likely to make an ER visit and spent 18% more time in the hospital if they went there.

The average annual cost for healthcare for hospital workers and their dependents was $4,662, or $538 more than the general population.

Hospital workers, the study authors speculate, are more likely to access expensive healthcare services because they are so convenient, and they may access care more frequently because they are more in tune with their symptoms, and the disparities do not result from hospital workers' increased exposure to communicable diseases.

A hospital or health system with 16,000 employees would save an estimated $1.5 million annually in medical and pharmacy costs for each 1% reduction in health risk.

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