Does healthcare navigation boost employee productivity?
4 minute read•Navigation Insider
The study found Quantum Health’s solution improves both absenteeism and presenteeism within a self-insured employer’s workforce. It also reduces healthcare-related workload on the HR and benefits team. Annualized, the study found total productivity impact of 1,379 hours per 1,000 employees, or nearly $424,000 in financial value for a hypothetical 10,000-employee organization.
Ed Pudlowski, founder and president of MorningStar Actuarial Consulting, collaborated on the study with Quantum Health’s actuarial and Value Creation teams. He and his coauthors believe theirs is the first study that shows improved employee productivity from a healthcare navigation, advocacy or concierge solution.
“What focused our attention on doing the study were comments from customers regarding Quantum Health’s ability to take on so many of the benefits questions and healthcare concerns from their health plan members, which freed up a lot of time for the HR staff,” Pudlowski said. “HR executives found that to be a huge benefit. So, we started to ask, ‘How do we measure that impact?’ Then it evolved into, ‘How can we measure other, potentially broader impacts on workforce productivity?’”
The analysis, based on 2022 data from Quantum Health’s entire roster of clients, explored three main productivity factors: absenteeism, presenteeism and benefits-related HR workload. It measured impact both in terms of hours per 1,000 employees and financial value, based on an average salary of $61,776 per employee.
Study findings, summarized in this report, include:
Pudlowski and his coauthors were deliberately conservative in their assumptions when conducting the analysis. “Many productivity studies we’ve seen to date are appropriately questioned around the methodologies used — the inference that all the gains were attributable to a particular health benefit or wellness program,” Pudlowski said. “The reality is there are a number of factors that can impact productivity. That’s why I think this analysis is important. One, we utilized conservative assumptions, such that the results may be considered at the lower end of a reasonable range. And two, it still shows that the effects of Quantum Health’s solution on productivity are pointing in the right direction.”
An example of the study’s conservative approach: It found that Quantum Health’s clients had significantly lower turnover than U.S. benchmarks tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lower turnover typically has a positive impact on productivity and product quality, while also reducing employee recruiting and training costs.
However, the authors chose to exclude turnover impact from their main findings. Pudlowski explained: “It became hard to make the distinction between Quantum Health’s impact on turnover and how much of what we saw was about the type of organizations, and their cultures, that contract with Quantum Health because they understand the value of the solution. If we included impact on turnover, it might have diminished the credibility of the analysis to some extent.
“I think any CFO or HR exec can question whether our study’s findings will exactly align with their experience,” he added. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that, directionally, they should see improvements in productivity through Quantum Health’s solution. And that’s additive to the already significant ROI Quantum Health provides when it comes to reducing claims costs.”
Pudlowski said he sees at least two opportunities for HR leaders to use the study’s results. One is to share them with the C-suite. The other? Share them with employees and prospective hires.
“I think the finance folks in an organization are always looking to see whether they are making a good investment in benefit solutions,” he said. “Secondarily, I think the study’s findings are something they can definitely use in their messaging to employees about the quality of their benefits, the culture of the organization, and the focus on employees’ health and wellbeing. This is another benefit that shows the employer is helping employees improve their overall quality of life.”
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