The United States spends more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world, and yet its citizens are not the world’s healthiest. The vast majority of U.S. health care spending—an estimated 84 percent—is associated with chronic diseases and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
The human costs of an unhealthy population are significant, and so is the economic impact. Some experts estimate that an unhealthy workforce costs U.S. employers $576 billion annually due to lost productivity, health care costs, and wage replacement. This threatens the nation’s ability to compete with strength in the global marketplace. Employers have increasingly recognized this fact, as well as the potential they hold to influence the health of the nation.
Employers can have a powerful impact on helping individuals and communities develop and/or maintain healthy habits that can improve health or better manage chronic conditions. The organizations represented on the CEO Council are leading the way toward a new understanding of health and health care, and a new vision of a health care system in which everyone plays an important role. Together they represent nearly one million members of the U.S. workforce and more than 150 million “covered lives” (e.g., employees, their families, and retirees covered by health insurance). Their impact is broader than this, however, through programs that promote health and wellness in the communities they serve.
These organizations are successful in the marketplace because they recognize and pursue the power of innovation in developing and delivering products and services, managing their organizations, and meeting the needs of their customers. They bring this same innovative approach to improving and supporting the health and wellness of their workforces, developing creative strategies, and employing best practices. Through this Council, these companies are sharing their health strategies and best practices in order to highlight and spread successful initiatives to other organizations.
This report is a product of the BPC CEO Council on Health and Innovation, whose membership includes the chief executives of nine diverse organizations. The Council reached consensus on these recommendations as a package. The content contained within individual CEO Council member sections represents efforts undertaken by and the views of the individual member companies and may not necessarily represent the views or opinions of BPC or other CEO Council members.
Finally, the findings and recommendations expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Bipartisan Policy Center, its founders, or its Board of Directors.
KEYWORDS: CEO COUNCIL ON HEALTH AND INNOVATION