March 11, 2013

NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care

The results of the annual National Business Group on Health employer survey have been recently released.  This 18th survey performed by NBGH in association with Towers Watson reflected some interesting data.  First, the expected total average healthcare expense for employees will be about $12,100 in 2013 which is the lowest year-to-year increase in this cost in 15 years – nearly the entire time the survey has been conducted, but still 5.1% above last year.  However, the employee borne share of this expense is up by 42% over the last 5 years (with employees now contributing 37% of the total cost of their health care as opposed to 34% in 2011, and, according to the survey, employers plan to continue increasing this employee split in the future).

In spite of the above, the survey also indicated that employers understand the financial burden this has placed on their employees and are therefore committed to “. . take more aggressive action, using emerging strategies to improve delivery, cost management and employee accountability.”

The survey also reported on “best performing” corporations, whose average cost increase last year was only 1.7% – or the same as general inflation – as opposed to the overall increase of 5.1%.  The actions reported by this group of high performers to combat healthcare cost inflation included many of the things you are doing at your on-site clinic (and perhaps have been for some time) – like stronger case management, initiating innovative compensation programs for providers with a focus on improved quality, cost-effective care; etc.  Other initiatives included transparency in provider pricing (something that is becoming a national trend – finally!), and consolidation in vendors and incentives for the incorporation of technology by providers to improve quality.

To see the full report, follow this link

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