TRACK: OEM Education and Scientific Research
Harris Allen, PhD, Harris Allen Group, LLC, Dorchester, MA
William B. Bunn, MD, MPH, JD, FACOEM, Medical University of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island, SC
While reporting huge, broad-based reductions in total costs from 2001-2009, Navistar employees also posted an anomaly: its direct costs linked to COPD rose sharply even as associated COPD indirect costs dropped. Prompted by this anomaly, this leading employer undertook a study (Allen et al, JOEM 9/13) for new evidence to strengthen its focus on high-cost, low-prevalent diseases. This study featured novel comparisons tracing the arc of COPD impact over time and found: disconnects between increases vs. decreases in direct costs and their drivers that raised unit price inflation concerns; increases in direct/indirect cost drivers from yet-to-be-diagnosed to diagnosed status that reaffirmed the need for screening; and increases in utilization from newly diagnosed to well-established disease status that underscored the need for continued monitoring. This panel will highlight the substantive concerns raised by these results (e.g., COPD-oriented unit price escalation, prevention, and medical management) concerns, discuss subsequent steps taken by Navistar to address these concerns, and detail methodological breakthroughs that have strengthened an already exemplary approach toward employee health and productivity.