By Abhinav Shashank, president and co-founder, Innovaccer.
What makes anyone identify the best health plan for themselves? In today’s world, having health insurance is very important. You might end up paying significantly more for a doctor’s visit if you don’t have insurance than if you had it. You could rack up paying hundreds of dollars for a major injury or if you go for a costly treatment. And in this flock of health insurances, employer-sponsored health plans make up a significant percentage.
How does employer-sponsored health plans fit into the situation?
Employee health and well-being is not just essential, but also foundational to business success. Only a healthy team could deliver profitable outcomes. For this reason, among the list of many, most of employed Americans have their health insurance covered by their employers.
According to a survey, 92 percent of respondents were confident that their organization will continue to sponsor health care benefits for the next five years.
High-performance Insights- Best Practices in Health Care, 2017 22nd Annual Willis Towers Watson Best Practices in Health Care Employer Services
Is employer-sponsored healthcare on the verge of breaking or is it broken already?
Employer-provided healthcare is underleveraged. Currently, employer-sponsored healthcare is facing a lot of complications, including:
- New market entrants add more complexity to employer decisions
- As financial responsibility for care shifts to employees, an increase in self-rationing may drive poor outcomes
- Pharmacy remains an area of unchecked rising cost, especially with regard to high- cost biogenetic (specialty) drugs, among many
What is haunting the large employers and how is the market ripe for innovation?
“Interestingly, 70 percent of employers believe new market entrants from outside the healthcare industry are needed to disrupt health care in a positive way. These disruptors include innovators from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, and employer coalitions,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO, National Group on Health.
Fifty-five percent of employers are concerned about prescription opioid abuse and working with partners to implement safe prescribing patterns and alternative therapies. The innovation we need to resolve this issue starts with data. With the launch of CURES 2.0 database, healthcare in the state of California achieved a milestone in curbing the opioid epidemic.
The role of activated data in enhancing the employer-sponsored health plan is that of an initiator to a revolutionary change in the field. Once the organizations have the right data, they can gain crucial insights into their employees and devise better plans to enhance their health and productivity.
What are the disruptors to redefine the provider and employer relationship?
Several industry disruptors are taking care beyond the four walls of the clinic and catering to the needs of patients- anytime, anywhere. Telehealth, analytics, virtual care and job site clinics are contracting directly with large employers.
According to the third annual State of Consumer Telehealth Benchmark Survey, 64 percent of healthcare organizations were offering telehealth services by the end of the year 2018, while around 96.4 percent health systems are planning to expand their virtual care services in the upcoming year, according to another survey.
Helping companies take better care of the people who take care of them!
In the latest webinar with Glenn Steele Jr. MD, PhD, vice chair, Health Transformation Alliance, former Geisinger Health System president and CEO, he discussed the advanced model of the Health Transformation Alliance. HTA is a group of 50 major corporations that have come together in an alliance with a single aim of fixing our broken healthcare.
HTA is driving the change in the field of employer-sponsored health plan market by providing solutions on four important aspects of care delivery:
- Data and analytics solutions
- Pharmaceutical solutions
- Medical solutions
- Consumer engagement solutions
The road ahead
It is a widely used statement that “Starbucks spends more on healthcare than on coffee beans!” and “General Motors is a health and benefits company with an automotive division!” It is important for employers to take care of their employees because “health affects work and work affects health.”
Large companies, such as Amazon and Walmart, are excelling in this field. From identifying symptoms of sickness to delivering medicine with Amazon’s PillPick, Amazon has all of it covered. Similarly, Walmart Health 2.0 is crossing the chasm into the commercial employer-sponsored insurance market.
It is time that we change our perspective to healthcare because we are entering into the age of intelligence and conventional norms of delivering care cannot fulfill the criteria.