Lesson 5: The Purposes of Economic Evaluation

Lesson 5: The Purposes of Economic Evaluation

Employers are in need of government help as they deal with their growing problem of keeping their employees healthy and productive at a reasonable cost. This is a role that could be easily assumed by OSHA and NIOSH as American business comes to rely on lowering costs, particularly labor costs, to remain internationally competitive. Gorsky and Teutsch (1995) state that decision makers in public health need to consider costs and effectiveness when it comes to offering preventive services to Americans.
They need not only to identify those preventive programs that work but also to consider the
additional costs associated with the use of these interventions. Businesses are charged with
finding affordable ways of keeping their workforces healthy and productive. The expense of providing health insurance to their workers is a good investment only if the workers remain healthy and productive. OSHA and NIOSH have the resources and tools to help the business community select programs that contribute to a healthy and productive workforce. Fielding and Briss (2006) argue that improvements in the health of the population can be achieved through better use of evidence – based decisions, so that our finite resources will be used to do the right thing at the right time. What is needed is faster and better use of scientific information that increases the return on the investment in prevention and treatment by having the desired effect on the health of the public.

 

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