LDI Research Seminar Series

Marc Berger, MD
Executive Director, USHH Outcomes Research and Management
Merck & Company, Inc.
Jim Murray, PhD
Outcomes Research and Management
Merck & Company, Inc.

"Alternative Valuations of Workloss and Productivity"

March 9, 2001, 12:00 p.m.
Colonial Penn Center Auditorium


In this paper, we will examine indirect costs (i.e., workloss and productivity costs) of employee illness from the employer's perspective. We provide a conceptual framework to help employers consider alternative views of the assessing indirect costs and valuing health care they purchase. First, we discuss the matter of perspective and how an employer should view and assess indirect costs. We briefly review current models of measuring indirect costs and we critique these models. Then we introduce a simple, conceptual framework based on the ideas of health capital and labor productivity, and lay out the effects of health investment on indirect costs, taking into account what employees desire and what employers can provide. Finally, we offer an agenda for further research.

Jim Murray is Director of Outcomes Research and Management, US Human Health Division of Merck & Co., Inc. He is primarily responsible for public accountability initiatives that include the development and implementation of performance measurements and quality improvement programs. He also develops and implements outcomes research studies, economic models and cost-effectiveness analyses of interventions. He serves as a technical advisor to the National Committee on Quality Assurance on the HEDIS User's Group Methodology Panel, Technical Advisory Panel and the Foundation for Accountability (i.e., FACCT's Measures Council).

Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Murray was the Director of Research for US Quality Algorithms and Assistant Vice-President for Quality Improvment at US. Healthcare. He was responsible for the development of evaluation models for assessing quality of care for US Healthcare providers. Dr. Murray was one of the co-developers of the USQA Hospital Monitor and was also responsible for the evaluation of US Healthcare's disease management programs.

Dr. Murray holds a Ph.D. in Decision Sciences and Operations Research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a Masters degree in Information Systems.

Dr. Marc Berger obtained his M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency at NYU-Bellevue Hospital in New York and a Liver Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas-Southwestern Medical School. Prior to joining Merck, he was on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. While at Merck, Dr. Berger has held various positions of responsibility for Phase II to Phase IV clinical trials, outcomes research studies and disease management programs. He is currently Executive Director of Outcomes Research and Management in the US Human Health Division. Dr. Berger has co-authored numerous articles in outcomes research and health economics. He serves as a member of the editorial advisory boards of Value in Health and Managed Healthcare, and as a member of the advisory board of the Program on the Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology (PEEMT) at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Dr. Berger holds appointments as an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

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