The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has released a new study intended to encourage City Council’s adoption of a law mandating six leave for local workers. The city’s health costs would be reduced by more than $10 million thanks largely to reduced numbers of emergency room visits.
Expanded access to paid sick days would be likely to reduce costs associated with emergency room care because paid sick days give people the time needed to go to the doctor during regular office hours, rather than relying on emergency room care after business hours. Previous IWPR research shows that net cost savings per event treated by a primary care physician rather than at the emergency department is about $852.1 If Philadelphia workers without paid sick days were to gain access, about 12,188 emergency department visits per year would be prevented, resulting in health care cost reductions of $10.3 million annually.
A vote on a sick leave requirement is expected in City Council this spring.