Economic Impact of Health
Margaret E. Guerin-Calvert
Senior Managing Director, President, Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy
FTI Consulting’s Meg Guerin-Calvert identified key linkages between economic prosperity and health – improved health enhances economic conditions and resiliency and enhanced business and community activity supports health and quality of life.
Meg shared the Center’s extensive data-based research on medical, productivity, and opportunity costs of poor health and COVID-19 pandemic effects and the Center’s development of common relevant data measures at the local level to understand drivers, actions, and results for comparative and replicable initiatives. She reviewed successful collaborative actions to improve health, equity, and economic resiliency, and national leaders’ calls for multi-sector engagement especially on hypertension such as Surgeon General Jerome Adams’ The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension Report. In summarizing the Center’s research, Meg noted that the COVID-19 pandemic offers lessons and new opportunities for meaningful engagement, investment and action by cross-sector collaboratives of business, healthcare, community, and public health leaders.
Key Highlights of This Presentation:
- The COVID-19 pandemic exposes fundamental issues and fault lines of poor health and health disparities.
- Poor health poses high costs and challenges economic vitality of businesses and cities.
- Prevalence rates for diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions are high in most U.S. cities and often higher for communities of color; higher COVID-19 health risks and poorer outcomes are associated with these chronic condition risk factors.
- Diabetes, hypertension and cardiac disease impose significant productivity and incremental medical costs that could be reduced with interventions to limit severity or progression.
- FTI’s Center has developed extensive data-based research using extensive proprietary claims and public data and advanced analytics that provides common yet customized metrics of disease conditions and outcomes.
- With the Center’s extensive experience on health and health equity, the Center is able to assist leaders to understand issues, drivers, priorities and best measures of health and economic well-being.
- Productivity costs of poor health – time away from work, less productive employees, or turnover – are large and often unrecognized or not quantified for employers.
- Multi-sector collaboratives are playing critical roles in effective COVID-19 responses and in improving health and economic benefit; the pandemic and national leaders’ calls for action on health heighten the urgency and opportunity for successful collaboration
- Appropriate investments in public health and collaborative activity supported by actionable data and data-based research can yield substantial economic returns for communities.