Healthcare should be simple, right?
Providers have been pushing this message for years and constantly redesign their plans to make it easier for members to access healthcare. And to a degree, they’ve been successful. At this point, if we have insurance, most of us don’t even think about it. When we need care, we go to the doctor. It’s that simple. However, simple doesn’t always mean better. As a result US businesses suffer higher costs and lower quality of care.
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.
The trouble with this excessive simplicity is that you are unique and so are your healthcare needs. Problems arise because your insurance plan is there to cover you, not necessarily find you the best care. By focusing on making healthcare “simple,” providers have inadvertently caused a decline in quality for patients and an increase in cost for employers providing plans.
By making it “simple” to access healthcare, there’s no guarantee that you will get your needs met. You may have to go from doctor to doctor or location to location until you get the care you need, all of which costs time and money. If you “just go to the doctor” when you have an issue, how will you ensure they have the experience and training to properly treat your issue? How can you be sure your insurance will cover their service? Will they have availability to see you on your schedule? And finally, are you positive you won’t get hit with large medical bills after receiving your care?
These are just some of the problems experienced by many when they just “go to the doctor.” Finding the right doctor isn’t easy and proves why easier isn’t always better. This is why advocacy is key.
Finding quality healthcare is incredibly complicated. Luckily, advocates are trained to “look behind the curtain.” Healthcare advocates know the ins and outs of the system and your needs which means they’re able to find all the options available to you, not just the “easy” ones. Employers benefit through lower costs and ensuring their team benefits through higher quality healthcare.
By matching the right patient to the right doctor at the right time at the right cost, patients get better care, more quickly, see fewer doctors and recover faster. Because of this dynamic, advocates are able to increase the quality of care for patients while lowering costs for employers providing plans. That’s a win-win.
Despite what providers may say, accessing quality healthcare isn’t simple. Luckily, with a healthcare advocate, you’ve got someone on your side.