Barriers to Implementation of Workplace Health Interventions: An Economic Perspective

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Abstract

Objective:

To identify insurance related, structural, and workplace cultural barriers to the implementation of effective preventive and upstream clinical interventions in the working age adult population.

Methods:

Analysis of avoided costs from perspective of health economics theory and from empiric observations from large studies; presentation of data from our own cost-plus model on integrating health promotion and ergonomics.

Results:

We identify key avoided costs issues as a misalignment of interests between employers, insurers, service institutions, and government. Conceptual limitations of neoclassical economics are attributable to work culture and supply-driven nature of health care.

Discussion:

Effective valuation of avoided costs is a necessary condition for redirecting allocations and incentives. Key content for valuation models is discussed.

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