It’s not just Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway. Facing unsustainable 5-6% healthcare cost trend and poor employee experiences, the vast majority (81%) of large employers are no longer content with a “wait and see” approach to their employee healthcare strategies, according to the National Business Group on Health 2019 Large Employers Healthcare Strategy and Plan Design survey. In fact, in the quest for better healthcare, nearly 50% are turning activist – embracing a wide range of innovative strategies designed to bend the healthcare cost curve and win the hearts of employees and their family members, the survey shows.
Not only have traditional employee benefits strategies failed to deliver the results employers seek, but new external factors are only making matters worse, in their view. For instance, only 12% of employers believe provider consolidation will reduce healthcare costs, while 30% believe costs will increase as a result. The same goes for the consumer healthcare experience: only 18% of employers think it’s getting better as providers consolidate, while more than 40% see the consumer experience staying the same or getting worse. Similarly, more than half of large employers are skeptical that PBM and health plan integration will result in lower costs, and more than 90% are looking for a new solution for the rising cost of prescription drugs.
Taking charge, self-insured employers say they are adopting value-based care and other strategies designed to control costs and improve the quality and experience of healthcare. According to the NBGH survey, employers are turning to:
Each of these strategies presents big challenges, however. Employers say engagement platforms show promise in several areas but have a long way to go before delivering. While growing in popularity, telehealth is another fragmented employee experience that’s underutilized; less than 20% of employers see 8% utilization or higher. Anti-stigma campaigns don’t guide employees to the behavioral health resources they need when they need them. It’s difficult for employers not only to identify employees who can benefit most from Centers of Excellence, but also to convince them to use the CoE benefit and prepare for the procedure. And despite the promise of accountable care, 90% percent of providers say they lack the resources to manage the administrative demands it presents. Facing these challenges and others, it’s not surprising that 75% of employers are putting their faith in innovation – new solutions from Silicon Valley and elsewhere that will come along to disrupt healthcare and usher in a new era of efficiency.
The most expedient and effective answer, however, is an approach to employee benefits that tackles these challenges head on and makes all of these strategies work today. It’s a solution that:
To learn more about the solution and how it works, read the papers today:
2019 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, National Business Group on Health