How Employers Can Take Initiative to Reduce Costs, Improve Employee Care Experience

Employers have started to focus on fulfilling opportunities to control costs and supplying more services to help employees understand their treatment options and the healthcare system as a whole, explained Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health.

Employers have started to focus on fulfilling opportunities to control costs and supplying more services to help employees understand their treatment options and the healthcare system as a whole, explained Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health.

Transcript (slightly modified)

In what ways are employers taking initiative on their own to help reduce costs and improve the experience of their employees when they get care?

I think employers the last several years have been more focused on demand-side changes and opportunities to control costs. So, you’ve seen a lot of movement to consumer-directed health plans, you’ve seen the implementation of transparency tools, telehealth, decision support—all in an effort to help a consumer make better decisions.

I think the realization is that it’s very difficult to turn an employee into a sophisticated consumer of healthcare. They don’t touch the market enough, the market is too complicated, too fragmented, so they are beginning to shift, both in terms of a focus on the delivery systems—so you are seeing the emergence of more activity with ACOs, and high-performance networks, and centers of excellence.

But, employers are also doing more around advocacy, around navigation, around concierge-type services, to help employees both understand what their treatment options are and how to navigate the system and what’s the best place for care. Then even going to personalization to try to reach people in the moment to engage them so they can optimize the resources that they have.