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Quality, Value in Mix With Total Cost of Health Care

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Employers committed to tackling high health care costs are beginning to embrace value-driven solutions over short-term cost-shifting strategies, reports AHIP Hi-Wire.

For years, employers have raised deductibles and increased co-payments and employee contributions. Some have started wellness programs. Others have cut benefits or dropped insurance altogether. But a new movement is under way that shifts the focus away from containing costs and toward enhancing the value of services paid by employers.

Analysts say the shift has the potential to empower employers, allowing them to maximize their return through benefits designed to keep employees healthier longer.

In this case, value must equal the clinical benefit for the money spent, analysts say.

For example, employers whose claims data suggests their employees have a high incidence of diabetes might spend more money on lowering co-payments for diabetes care and related drugs in order to improve the health of employees.

In the end, employers pay less because employees aren’t seeking expensive emergency care for diabetes-related illnesses.

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