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


Kleinman NL1, Beren I2
1WorkPartners, LLC, Missouri City, TX, USA, 2WorkPartners, 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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