All sectors of the economy have been feeling the impact of social distancing and quarantine efforts. Employers who provide benefits packages to their workers face unique challenges and tighter cash flows, leading to a greater chance of furloughs and layoffs in trying economic times. Lowering healthcare costs means more budgetary flexibility to maintain your current workforce.   Frustratingly, healthcare costs remain an opaque, confusing line on every employers accounting spreadsheets due to several endemic faults in the healthcare system.  

THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY 

Unnecessary clerical responsibilities and poorly coordinated medical record keeping force providers to spend excessive amounts of time tending to paperwork and data entryrecords discarded later, because no centralized repository exists for electronic health records.  The fee-for-service model financially rewards a large volume of transactions and visitsnecessary or otherwise. This can harm employee health outcomes and the critical cashflows needed to maintain personnel and keep doors open during economic shifts.  Artificial and arbitrary pricing results in higher, non-standard costs for the same procedure across hospital systems, combined with little price transparency makes it nearly impossible for your employees to make financially prudent care decisions.  Your business isn’t equipped to take on the entire healthcare system. So, what can be done to combat the high cost of coverage while providing value? There’s no one lever to pull; however, if your company seeks to: 
  • protect their profit margins,  
  • avoid furloughs, 
  • prevent layoffs,  
  • and uphold their obligations to employee health, 
–it must embrace the following innovative options built to increase efficiency and promote provider accountability.    

CARE COORDINATION 

Reducing healthcare costs starts with reducing unnecessary spend in two areas:  
  • Diagnosis, and  
  • managing the progression of chronic disease and high-risk populations.  
Care coordination synchronizes the delivery of a patient’s healthcare from multiple providers with the goal of improved health outcomes long-term. This is achieved by eliminating redundant tests and procedures and ensuring that care from different providers is delivered as part as a cohesive plan.   

HIGH-PERFORMANCE NETWORKS 

Plans that reward and incentivize efficient, exceptional healthcare providers are beginning to gain ground with claims of providing both cost savings and access to high-quality care. By limiting the number of in-network providers to a carefully curated group with a history of practice efficiency, employees receive better care.  Employees that become healthier through proactive, efficient health management sustainably lowercosts and benefits employers over the long term.