Long- and Short-Term Disability and Workers' Compensation Trends for Employees with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Connective Tissue Disorders in the United States


Brook R1, Kleinman NL2, Beren I3
1Better Health Worldwide/NPRT/NASP, Newfoundland, NJ, USA, 2WorkPartners, LLC, Missouri City, TX, USA, 3WorkPartners, LLC, Denver, CO, USA

OBJECTIVES : Use objective data to compare employees’ all-cause short-/long-term disability (STD and LTD, respectively) and workers' compensation (WC) utilization, and explore changes from baseline for employees with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Connective Tissue Disorders (Lupus/CTD).

METHODS : Employees with medical-claims for the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Lupus/CTD category were retrospectively identified each year in WorkPartners Research Reference Database from 2001—2019. Each year the analysis focused on the %-of-employees with medical-claims, average Charlson-Comorbidity-Index-Score (CCI), and by benefit, the %-of-eligible employees utilizing the benefit, mean leave-length(in-days) and median payments as a %-of-salary (MedianPay). Disability/WC-payments included lump-sum-distributions and potentially extended beyond the year initiated. Workplace-accidents were paid under the WC-benefit. WC-claims without absence from work(medical-only) were excluded. Sick-leave claims may be taken for any reason and were excluded. All employees’ claims were included based on the initiation-year. For each benefit, average leave-length and MedianPay were calculated and compared with baseline (2001).

RESULTS : At baseline(2001), 0.3% of employees had Lupus/CTD medical-claims (CCI=1.28); 18.2% filed STD-claims lasting 47.04 mean-days at 62% of MedianPay, 1.0% filed LTD-claims lasting 198.2 mean-days at 59.4% of MedianPay, and 1.2% filed WC-claims lasting 95.86 mean-days at 121.2% of MedianPay. From 2002—2019: 0.19%-0.33% of employees had Lupus/CTD with CCIs from 1.29—1.70, 10.7%—22.6% of eligible-employees filed STD-claims lasting 70.4%—125.0% of baseline-days(BDs) at 37.3%—95.3% of baseline-MedianPay; 0.5%—3.1% of eligible-employees filed LTD-claims lasting 22.3%—1094.2% of BDs at 9.6%—191.4% of baseline-MedianPay; 0%—1.3% of eligible-employees filed WC-claims lasting 16%—271.2% of BDs at 47.1%—879.4% of baseline-MedianPay. MedianPay was highest in 2004(STD), 2012(LTD), and 2008(WC). Claims-lengths were longest in 2017(STD), 2004(LTD), and 2007(WC).

CONCLUSIONS : Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Connective Tissue Disorders are rare disorders. Employees with Lupus/CTD used different absence benefits over time with varying leave-lengths and median-payments as a %-of-salary. Using a constant cost or salary-replacement factor over time for all benefits is not accurate or appropriate.

Conference/Value in Health Info

2021-05, ISPOR 2021, Montreal, Canada

Value in Health, Volume 24, Issue 5, S1 (May 2021)




Economic Evaluation, Health Service Delivery & Process of Care, Real World Data & Information Systems

Topic Subcategory

Disease Management, Health & Insurance Records Systems, Work & Home Productivity - Indirect Costs


Musculoskeletal Disorders, Rare and Orphan Diseases

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