di , 03/10/2023

New data from Parsley Health reveals 43% of women have missed a day or more of work due to health issues in the past 60 days

67% report they’re having issues getting a clear diagnosis

8 in 10 say they are delaying care until their symptoms worsen or affect their daily lives

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Parsley Health, a digital health company designed to lower costs in patients with complex and chronic conditions using root cause medicine, today announced survey findings that reveal the state of health of women in the workforce in 2023, and the impact on employers.

“Each year, workforce age women spend $85 billion dollars more on healthcare than their male counterparts. And only a fraction of that can be attributed to pregnancy. We need to be asking ourselves why and what we can do about it,” said Dr. Robin Berzin, M.D., Founder and CEO of Parsley Health. “This survey shines a light on how the healthcare needs of women in the workforce are not being met by the current system – and what employers can do to reduce costs and absenteeism while helping solve the real issues that women face.”

Parsley Health commissioned a national survey of more than 1,200 full-time employed, insured, women ages 18-60 to learn about their top health concerns and care challenges so that employers can identify the biggest opportunities to improve care for the women who make up nearly 60% of today’s workforce.

While employers and Parsley are pursuing healthcare solutions that serve the needs of the entire workforce – men and women both – the survey findings suggest the greatest immediate savings may be found in supporting the women who have been left behind by a system that has largely ignored the broad, intersecting, and complex health needs women experience across their lifetimes.

“We know from McKinsey research that companies that hire and retain more women are more profitable. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw women leave the workforce en masse,” Dr. Berzin continued. “Women are now coming back in record numbers but they are coming back sick. We need the right systems in place to help them get well for their health – and for the health of the economy.”

Key Findings

  • 47% of women say their health issues have affected their work productivity in the past 60 days
  • 43% of women have missed one or more days of work due to health issues in the past 60 days
  • The top seven issues that led to those missed days:
    • Fatigue / lack of sleep: 37%
    • Headaches / migraines: 35%
    • General malaise: 28%
    • Infection: 27%
    • Mental health: 26%
    • Physical pain: 25%
    • Stomach or digestive issues: 22%

The survey also showed the majority of women felt left behind, as they reported suffering from multiple symptoms and comorbidities – and without a clear diagnosis or single homebase for their care.

Fractured care keeps women in a revolving door of prescription drugs, specialist referrals, and delayed diagnosis – and they want out.

  • 80% of women report delaying care until symptoms worsen or begin to affect their life before seeking care
    • 44% delay care because they don’t have time to make an appointment or go to the doctor
    • 34% delay care because they are discouraged by previous experiences at the doctor and/or do not feel like their doctor has helped them resolve their symptoms
    • 33% delay care because they fear the cost of visit and/or co-pays
    • 24% delay care because they worry they will just be prescribed more medication – which they do not want
  • 67% of women are having issues with getting a clear diagnosis – of which 25% are still waiting for diagnosis or gave up entirely
    • Only 33% are confident in their diagnosis
  • 71% of women say they would leave their current job for better healthcare benefits

“Symptoms and comorbidities for this population are often interrelated and point to bigger, chronic health issues. The data reveal that for 1 in 5 women, a health concern was either misdiagnosed or they have a diagnosis that is incomplete or keeps changing,” said Dr. Darcy McConnell, Director of Medical Affairs at Parsley Health. “We can’t address or treat a problem that hasn’t been properly identified. Comprehensive care leveraged with root cause medicine is a necessity to cut costs and improve health outcomes.”

Women know what they want; report shows it’s also what they need.

  • When asked what they wish their healthcare benefits provided more of, women reported:
    • 49%: Comprehensive support from one doctor who can understand and treat my unique health needs without requiring multiple specialist referrals
    • 44%: More solutions for my specific health concerns(s) (e.g., support for fatigue, headaches, stomach issues, postpartum care or support for my mental health)
    • 40%: Access to a doctor that can diagnose the root cause of my symptoms and create a clear treatment plan
    • 39%: Better care management services that help me coordinate my care (e.g., medication, visit scheduling, tests, treatment plans, etc.)

“There is a substantial amount of the workforce suffering from chronic conditions, whether they be GI, autoimmune, mental health, cardiometabolic, or hormonal. We know that these conditions are costly, and this survey illustrates they are also debilitating. By combining our survey data with third party desk research and independently validated outcomes data, Parsley Health maps a better path forward for the 60% of Americans with chronic conditions. We need to implement these solutions not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the right fiscal choice,” said Tony Clapsis, Parsley Health Board Member.

Per the survey, women want healthcare that: caters to their schedule and time limitations, offers a clear diagnosis without multiple specialist referrals, and ensures the root cause of conditions are identified and treated – with care that goes beyond more prescription drugs.

Parsley Health provides root cause medicine that is accessible and easy to access virtually from anywhere, designed to halt the revolving door of prescriptions and specialist referrals. Independent actuarial data analyzing 20,000 patient claims, shows that Parsley drives a 32% reduction in total medical expense (TME) and a 77% reduction in specialist referrals. By providing more comprehensive healthcare programs, women can more efficiently and effectively have their complex healthcare needs met – and root causes identified – so they can lead healthier and more productive lives.

This report is the first in a series of white papers by Parsley Health that uncovers the realities of healthcare for the millions of Americans in the workforce with complex health needs.

Click HERE for the full report.

Survey Methodology

Parsley Health partnered with SurveyMonkey, a subsidiary of Momentive, to administer the online survey, conducted July 5 – 8, 2023. A total of 1,271 responses were collected from women ages 18-60. At the time of the survey, all respondents were employed full-time, had health insurance, and identified as women.

About Parsley Health

Parsley Health uses root cause medicine to drive powerful outcomes and lower costs for patients with complex health needs. More than 85% of Parsley patients improve or resolve symptoms within their first year of care, while also significantly reducing prescription drug use and specialist referrals for gastrointestinal, autoimmune, hormone, fertility, metabolic, and mental health conditions. At Parsley patients see the whole picture of their health, identify and address the root drivers of illness, and experience accessible, supportive care from providers who listen. Parsley combines advanced diagnostic testing, personalized medications and nutritional guidance to provide best-in-class modern holistic care – all online, nationwide. Learn more at https://www.parsleyhealth.com/employer/.