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Hospital workers outspend others on medical care

Reuters, September 13, 2011

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. The cost difference was even greater when dependents were taken into account, with healthcare costs 13 percent higher, including medical care and prescription drugs. The study, conducted by Thomson Reuters Healthcare, analyzed the health risk and utilization of 1.1 million hospital workers and compared them with 17.8 million health plan members across all industries around the country. Researchers did not look at the causes for the disparity.Healthcare workers and their dependents were more likely to be diagnosed and hospitalized to treat asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure, HIV, hypertension and mental illness. It found that the average cost of healthcare for hospital employees and their dependents was $4,662 per year - $538 higher than that of the general population.