When looking to exercise health benefits provided by their employers, employees will often ask about the ways in which they’ll be able to access this care. The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need for this process to be simple and efficient, as it ultimately benefits both parties. Health care providers gain as well, as they are able to facilitate an easier and safer relationship through a variety of means. In this blog, we’ll detail the various ways employers are currently expanding care to their workforce.
Alternative Reimbursement: You Can’t Pay Less For Healthcare Unless You Pay Less For Healthcare
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM ET
The only way to pay LESS for healthcare is to pay LESS for healthcare. This simple statement sounds obvious but is ignored by most employers as reflected in their health benefits. For years, we have depended on the carriers to negotiate the price we pay for healthcare, having a more direct and transparent reimbursement (provider compensation model) is the key to immediately lowering your health benefits cost.
In a post-COVID world, even zero change in employees’ healthcare costs will likely still result in them spending a greater percentage of their income on healthcare. Why? Most household incomes are down so the focus shouldn’t be on maintaining the status quo, but on fighting to reduce overall costs and expenditures.
According to a 2019 study completed by the National Business Group on Health, 51% of large companies are adding virtual care solutions in an attempt to control health care costs for their employees. Virtual care describes ways providers can interact with patients remotely. About half of health centers nationwide have increased their use of the practice to complement in-person visits for a variety of ailments.
Telemedicine falls under virtual care as well. However, it is commonly used in absence of face to face office visits. The advent of telecommunication infrastructure that complies with HIPAA regulations have made this practice increasingly prevalent in the healthcare space.
Direct Primary Care
The direct primary care model has gained steam since its introduction to healthcare in the mid 2000s. It provides a direct billing method from patient to physician, without involving the inracices of health insurance. DPC providers charge patients a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee that covers most primary care services.
Research published by the American Journal of Managed Care estimates that patients spend about two hours on average on regular visits to their primary care physician. However, about 25% of this time, or 30 minutes, is spent travelling to and from the facility, with a mere 10 minutes spent face-to-face with their doctor. Near/Onsite clinics are incredibly convenient for employers, while allowing them to perform preventative screenings, immunizations, and other healthcare services on a more regular basis.
As you can see, there are several ways for employers to provide enhanced services for their employees that are more convenient and cost-effective for all. Expanding access to care with these methods provides employers with the tools to maintain and improve their employee’s health over the long term.