Employee absence prevention health interventions are associated with a relative
reduction in short-term disability incidence of 15 percent among employees at
high-risk of experiencing a disability in the next 12 months, according to a
study of 118,000 American workers by global health service company Cigna
(NYSE:CI). The results of the study are published in the December 2012 issue of
the independent, peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational and Environmental
The Cigna study found that a combination of predictive analytics and a nurse
health advocate-led intervention can produce a measurable reduction in future
disabling illness or injury incidents among employees at high risk of short-term
disability. The intervention resulted in a short-term disability incidence rate
of 16.8 percent vs. 19.8 percent for those not in the intervention group -
overall a 15 percent relative reduction in incidence of disability.
"By identifying customers at high risk of a future short-term disability and
providing individualized intervention that includes coaching, incentives and
other outreach, our study shows that the onset of disability absence can be
measurably reduced, benefitting both employers and employees alike," said Dr.
Robert N. Anfield, chief medical officer for Cigna's disability business.
"Future studies should address how intervention impacts short-term disability
duration, return-to-work rates, and total medical costs."
Cigna conducted a prospective, randomized controlled trial with 118,000
employees from 24 employers. The employees were identified by the predictive
model as high risk for short-term disability and randomly assigned to the
intervention or control groups. The study defined high risk as greater than or
equal to a ten percent probability of short-term disability during the next 12
months. Employees eligible for the study were full-time, actively at work and
covered by Cigna-administered medical and disability plans.
Called the Absence Prediction and Prevention (APP) program, it established a
nurse health advocate-led intervention that included early identification of
employees at high risk for future short-term disability, proactive outreach to
these employees, clinical assessment, and a range of disability absence
"It`s important to note the value of using sound research methods to efficiently
and effectively answer the questions about program impact," said Disability
Analytics Lead Doug Melton, MPH, PhD for Cigna. "The program serves as one of
many proactive interventions leveraging analytic insight about customers`
physical state and personal preferences in order to develop customized absence
"It`s part of Cigna`s mission to provide customers with tools and resources that
can help people stay healthy and potentially prevent or lessen the impact of an
injury or illness," said Mark Marsters, senior vice president of operations for
Cigna's disability insurance business. "By proactively identifying individuals
who may be struggling, before their condition worsens and they need to leave
work, we`re helping to fulfill that mission."
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to
helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All
products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna
Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health
and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna
Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an
integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health,
pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including
group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability
in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 71 million customer
relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna, including links
to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit www.cigna.com.
Jim Angstadt, 215-761-8748
Copyright Business Wire 2012