Integrating Business and Medical Values in Health Benefits Management

by Ellen Moskowitz, David Nassef

Fall 1997

Volume 40
Issue 1

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Contemporary health benefits management is forcing business to join the medical profession in judging what is valued in health care delivery. The judgments are particularly difficult, ranging from allowable treatments, including potentially life-prolonging measures, to the use of sensitive medical data about employees and their personal behaviors. Although medical experts may advise them, corporations and their managers retain ultimate economic, moral, and, increasingly, legal responsibility for these decisions. This article shows that innovations in corporate health benefits make it imperative for business to integrate medical and business values considerations into the daily work of benefits planning and administration. To accomplish this goal, the article provides a six-step model senior managers can use to identify and respond to the unique nature of these concerns in their own companies. It also supplies a set of principles to help managers think more comprehensively and clearly about the values issues emerging in their health benefits programs.

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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