Linking employee burnout to medical aid provider expenditure

  • L de Beer
  • J Pienaar
  • S Rothmann Jr

Abstract

Background. Healthcare has become a major expense. Burnout and its connection with psychological and physical health is well researched,
yet little research has been done on the connection between burnout and financial outcomes, specifically as indicated by the costs incurred
by medical aid providers as a result of members’ claims.
Objective. To investigate the connection between employee burnout and medical aid claims and expenditure data in a sample from the
private sector.
Method. A cross-sectional design was used. The sample comprised 3 182 participants. The available objective medical aid expenditure
data connected with each participant were: total insured benefits, general practitioner visits, specialist visits, general practitioner insured
benefits, and claims for medicine. A low and a high burnout group were extracted, based on comorbidity of the two core components of
burnout. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was then applied to investigate the differences in estimated marginal means of the expenditures
on the low and the high burnout contrast groups, while controlling for age and gender.
Results. The high burnout group frequented a general practitioner more often, and the medical aid provider expenditure was nearly double
that of the low burnout group, on all the variables. Specialist visits did not show a significant result.
Conclusion. High burnout is associated with a higher expenditure by a medical aid provider, compared with low burnout, per member.
Stakeholders should therefore address burnout to reduce expenditure and promote health.
Published
2013-02-08
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135