The success or failure of health plans and wellness initiatives typically hinge on two factors: cost and savings. While forward-thinking employers have been incorporating metrics related to productivity, absenteeism and culture, a program that does not demonstrate its ability to bend the cost curve is often one benefits cycle away from being replaced. At the end of the day, the goals of improved employee health and quality of life must also align with the primary aims of recruiting and retaining top talent in a way that allows the business to expand and grow.
Why Sleep Health?
Sleep influences nearly every aspect of life, including prevention and recovery from illness and injury as well as performance, decision-making and communication. Diseases associated with poor sleep are known to include some of the biggest drivers of rising health care spending. While nearly half of all American workers report having trouble sleeping, today’s health plans are poorly equipped to identify and treat sleep disorders, particularly at the population level. In fact, up to 90% of Americans who would benefit from clinical intervention for sleep issues remain untreated or undiagnosed. As a result, the true cost and impact of sleep deprivation remains largely invisible to traditional health claims analysis.
Poor sleep is known to cause or worsen these chronic conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic pain and fatigue
Consider A Different Approach
Despite being a medical problem, sleep health is most often viewed as a wellbeing initiative. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it’s a great place to start. With the burden of controlling disease consuming the lion’s share of benefits budgets, a proactive, holistic approach to sleep health and wellbeing offers a sustainable path forward. Consider how sleep programs support and align with these important benefits program goals:
Vast amounts of money and time are wasted while patients struggle to find relief. A value-based reimbursement system, where payment is only made when an employee’s sleep needs are successfully addressed, eliminates the risk of waste entirely, guides significantly more people into effective care and incentivizes adherence to therapy over the long term.
Reduce Healthcare Spending
Consider the health savings that would result if every employee adopted a healthy diet and exercise regimen. The same opportunity exists in the realm of sleep health. A successful sleep program helps to combat chronic disease on a daily basis, impacting claims of all sorts, from office and hospital visits to pharmaceuticals, while improving quality of life.
Maximize the Value of Wellbeing Programs
Because sleep is directly tied to stress, metabolism, motivation and physical performance, other wellbeing initiatives benefit when sleep is improved. This reinforcement allows employers to realize a greater value from these programs, further compounding the return on their sleep health investment.
Remain Ahead of the Curve
Ready to learn more? Visit the Our Solution page to discover our innovative solution to workforce sleep problems and try out simple, online calculator to determine how much poor sleep is costing your company.