- Musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis and back pain, impact organizations' overall healthcare costs the most, according to a Dec. 5 report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).
- Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure round out the top five conditions that impact health care costs.
- "Advancements in medical treatment, like joint replacement surgery, and the rising costs of prescriptions drugs, especially for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, mean that employers can face high costs to treat these disorders," IFEBP Vice President of Content Julie Stich said.
Expected increases in healthcare costs are driving employers to look for creative solutions to manage care and expenses. Health benefit costs are expected to rise nearly 4% in 2020, according to September projections by Mercer. To combat the rising prices, some employers are looking into healthcare alliances to address costs as well as provide more comprehensive care. Others are turning to telehealth and other wellness benefits to control costs and help employees.
Some employers may be able to cut down costs incurred by musculoskeletal conditions by ensuring workers are safely carrying out their duties, as workplace injuries may be a factor in causing or exacerbating musculoskeletal conditions. For retail workers, the average workplace injury results in 24 days off the job, according to one recent study. Data suggests employees injured on the job and off for more than 10 days may be at a higher risk for drug overdose and suicide.