Value-Based Surgery Benefits Advance Consumerism and Employee Engagement

According to a recent survey of chief human resource officers and senior benefit managers, employees are suboptimal health consumers and do little shopping for the best cost and quality of care delivery.1 HR execs largely agree on the pressing need to move toward more consumerism.2  To enable greater consumerism, workers must be better educated on how to seek transparency and quality data when making specific healthcare decisions. But this is a tall, long-term task. Healthcare… Read More →

Huzzah for HHS Nominee Azar!

We applaud HHS secretary nominee Alex Azar for certain comments earlier this month. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Azar supported mandatory bundled payment models in Medicare. We wholeheartedly agree. Mandatory bundled payment models are the logical next step by CMS based on findings of its Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Released in November 2017, an evaluation of Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative found that for the highest volume clinical episodes,… Read More →

Employers Armed With Innovative Weaponry Take Aim at High-Cost, Low-Quality Healthcare

By Jesse Gomez, Executive VP of Sales & Marketing Last year we witnessed the Trump administration, Congress and the American people engage in a fractious debate about healthcare reform. In a national discussion marked more by heat than by light, some called for an end to employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), but ESI shows no signs of going away and continues to meet the healthcare needs of a multitude.  The majority of Americans receive coverage from employers… Read More →

In 2018, Businesses Face Biggest Cost Hike in Years. What to Do?

By Mark Stadler, President & CEO  In a letter in 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” A brilliant man, Ben was sadly mistaken. Just as certain, and unrelenting, is the rise each year in healthcare costs for employers and employees. These costs will climb again in 2018. HR consultancy Mercer tells us large employers will see a 4.3 percent increase in health benefit… Read More →

Disintermediation and Constructive Disruption in U.S. Healthcare

By Jesse Gomez, Executive VP of Sales & Marketing Retail giants CVS, Walgreens and Kroger, among others, are pushing further into care delivery, putting ever more pressure on traditional providers to up their game on access … or to partner. Private equity dollars are moving to mobile technology, new primary care delivery models and telehealth. Employers are contracting directly with providers for solutions that do more to contain healthcare costs and improve care quality.   While… Read More →

“Dantotsu” Can Pave Way to Better, Lower-Cost Healthcare for Plan Sponsors

By Mark Stadler, President & CEO For plan sponsors, managing healthcare today is a little like choosing dessert at a really good frozen yogurt shop: Too many choices can lead to analysis paralysis, beguiling the most seasoned benefit professionals.   Clarity comes from cherry picking the best care delivery and payment vehicles. Cherry picking in the business world originates in Japan, where for decades corporate leaders have practiced dantotsu – or, “best of the best” –… Read More →

Value-Based Surgery Benefits Improve U.S. Healthcare

By Mark Stadler, President & CEO The German literary giant Goethe famously said, “Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” Few words in our national discussion about healthcare are more sensible than these: We can improve much by moving from today’s fee-for-service (FFS) approach to value-based healthcare.  Value-based healthcare defined  The United States spends almost 18… Read More →

Healthcare Cost Outlook for 2017

Healthcare benefit costs are expected to increase 6% for large employers in the United States in 2017 according to a recent annual survey conducted by National Business Group on Health [1]. Many of the 133 employers surveyed for this study plan to make changes to their benefits plans in order to hold the increase at 5%. While a cost increase of some kind in 2017 is inevitable for employers, implementing cost-control measures as well as… Read More →

Quality Care and Patient Outcomes in the United States

Costs associated with major planned procedures have not only skyrocketed but also varied greatly. Accordingly, traditional PPO costs have risen dramatically—for both plan sponsors and members. To offset these increases, it has often meant a trade-off in the quality of care. Needless to say, high-quality healthcare remains a priority for Americans. Kaiser Family Foundation analysts have reported that while the quality of care in the United States’ health system continues to improve, there are still… Read More →

Rising Surgical Costs and How to Contain Them

The cost of surgical procedures in the United States continues to soar and seemingly sporadically rise. Stanford Health Care reported that 48 million surgical inpatient procedures were performed in the United States in 2009 [6], and that number continues to steadily increase seven years later. When surgical care becomes necessary, many consumers are left wondering what the true cost for them will be and how they will pay. Various explanations can be offered in the… Read More →