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 you and your employees. 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.
You Can’t Impact The Past: ↑ Advocacy + ↑ Quality = ↓ Cost
Thursday, May 20, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11 AM PT
Unlike most things, healthcare services have an inverse relationship between cost and quality: the better the quality, the lower the cost. Unfortunately, the current health benefits market is completely opaque and lacking any meaningful, realistic transparency. Additionally, we have always been taught that easy = better when designing health benefits programs for employers and their employees. However, the cost and quality of healthcare can vary dramatically within the same city. Utilization Management for example, where your members access healthcare, is one of the single most important additions to your health plan design.
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 has 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 employees, 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 you to provide enhanced services for your employees that are more convenient and cost-effective for all. Expanding access to care with these methods provides your company with the tools to maintain and even improve the health of your employees over the long term.