Currently Viewing:
Newsroom

5 Ways Employers Are Addressing Healthcare

Laura Joszt
Employers are placing an increased focus on healthcare benefits and integrating or expanding healthcare offerings. With healthcare costs rising, employers are focusing not only on health plans but also on ways to improve employee experience with healthcare.
Employers are placing an increased focus on healthcare benefits and integrating or expanding healthcare offerings. With healthcare costs rising, employers are focusing not only on health plans but also on ways to improve employee experience with healthcare.

Here are 5 trends in healthcare in the employer space.

1. Employers are integrating healthcare benefits

A new Anthem survey of 222 employers with more than 100 employees found a growing trend in health benefit design to create better care, lower costs, and more satisfaction for workers. More than 71% of respondents are actively integrating, or considering integrating, their medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, and/or disability benefits under the employer’s health and wellness program. Compared with 2016, that number is up 11%.

Integrating care is seen not only as a practical approach as it is a competitive way to attract and retain talent, but it is the right thing to do, according to Anthem’s report.

2. Provider–employer collaboration

An integrated healthcare model facilitates better communication among providers, with the insurer connecting providers to the bigger picture of the patient’s overall health electronically. For instance, 89% of employers agreed that collaboration between doctors and vision care providers is vital.

3. Employee engagement

Engagement ranks as being important for employers with these healthcare efforts. A total of 82% of respondents said it is important to enhance employees’ total well-being over the next 3 years. The average participation rate in well-being programs is less than 50%, and only 32% of employees said their company’s programs encouraged them to live a healthier lifestyle.

Penalties are now seen as a more effective way to change behavior.

4. Value-based designs and penalties

In a Willis Towers Watson study, almost one-third of employers said that they increase out-of-pocket costs for commonly overused services, such as going to the emergency department for a nonemergency situation. According to respondents, 40% are planning to require employees participate in other health and well-being activities, and that proportion is expected to increase to 55% by 2020 based on respondents who said they are considering it.

The study found that the use of incentives, instead of penalties, is on the decline from 77% of employers in 2015 to 56% in 2018.

5. Technology

The Anthem survey said thatdigital capabilities are increasingly important to employers, with 88% saying mobile apps are important to engaging employees in their health and 89% saying they would like their health plan to include a mobile app.

The Willis Towers Watson study echoed the interest, with 56% saying they are prioritizing health technology solutions over the next 3 years. One-fourth are actively looking for new technology and 65% are interested in finding technology that improves healthcare navigation or benefit experiences.

 
Copyright AJMC 2006-2019 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
x
Welcome the the new and improved AJMC.com, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up