Hospital Workers Outspend Others on Medical Care

Years ago I worked for a hospital. Hospital employees work with technology every day; they know what technology is available to treat health problems and are not afraid to use it. In addition, hospital workers often know the doctors on the medical staff who are more than willing to prescribe treatments if asked. Now a study by Thomson Reuters Healthcare confirms what any HR director for a hospital already knows:

Hospital employees spend 10 percent more on healthcare, consume more medical services, and are generally sicker than the rest of the U.S. workforce, according to a study released on Monday

Hospital employees and their dependents saw their doctors less often, but were 22 percent more likely to visit an emergency room and spent 18 percent more time hospitalized, the study found.

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    I was somewhat surprised by the finding that hospital workers see their doctor less often — but use the ER more. I know when I worked near medical office buildings that housed nearly 1,000 physicians, I saw the doctor far more than I do now that it’s less convenient.

  2. Joe Barnett says:

    Are they sicker, or do they just have more diagnoses? Probably the latter.

  3. Brian Williams. says:

    This is very interesting. I wonder if the same is true for other professions. Do pizza shop workers consume more pizza? Do auto mechanics spend more on fixing up their cars?

  4. Virginia says:

    Maybe they just like hanging out around their colleagues.

  5. John R. Graham says:

    I believe that this is true for people who work in doctors’ offices, too. One reason for passing state laws that prevented underwriting small groups for health insurance (except in narrow bands) was that doctors’ offices were up-rated because of their higher medical claims. The laws that restricted underwriting effectively socialized the costs of this behavior, I suppose.