The cost of healthcare is a major concern for employers and employees alike. The average American spent more than $11,000 on healthcare in 2018, and prices are expected to increase even further in coming years. To make matters worse, expensive healthcare does not always equate to quality healthcare. Your employees deserve a great range of quality health benefits, and you deserve to get them at a price that won’t break the bank.
Achieving this is possible, though it will require a proactive approach on your part as an employer. Here are ten simple strategies that can help your company reduce healthcare expenses without sacrificing quality. In fact, the quality of your employees’ care may even improve!
- Educate, educate, educate!
Many employees don’t fully understand their company’s benefits program, and if they don’t understand what the benefits are, they won’t feel as inclined to participate. Education can do more than just boost participation rates, too. Research has shown that the more an employee knows about their benefits program, the more positive their perception of that program – and, by extension, the employer who offers it – becomes. Improving benefits awareness in your workplace is a great way to increase employee loyalty and morale. For tips on how to do this, see our article on communication and employee benefits.
- Encourage your employees to compare before they buy
The cost of a given treatment or procedure can vary quite a lot from one provider to another. Because of this, taking the time to compare prices beforehand can lead to some great savings. There are plenty of online tools available for making these kinds of comparisons. Encourage your employees to use one of these tools by offering bonuses or a cut of the savings every time they find a lower-cost provider.
- Utilize reference-based pricing
As mentioned above, different providers may charge significantly different rates for the same procedure, which can lead to needless expenses. Reference-based pricing eliminates this kind of overspending by setting a fixed amount that your health plan will pay for a given service. These set values are typically based on industry benchmarks, such as the Medicare reimbursement rate for that procedure. Reference-based pricing leads to reduced healthcare spending for employers, reduced out-of-pocket costs for employees, and a more transparent, cost-effective healthcare experience overall.
- Expand your offerings with voluntary benefits
Voluntary benefits such as dental and disability coverage are a great way to broaden your benefits offerings and supplement your existing health plan without incurring huge costs. In addition to protecting your employees’ health, adding benefits such as these can give you a wider range of data to work with, and as we will see in the next section, that kind of data can be an effective money-saving tool in its own right.
- Embrace the power of data
Increase the amount of healthcare data you gather and put it to good use. One item in particular that employers will want to look at is referrals, which can play a significant role in overall healthcare costs. Data can also be used for outreach, support, and determining which providers offer the best care at the best price – providers that you can then steer employees towards.
- Add telemedicine to your program
Telemedicine is a great way to offer your employees simple, convenient care. On top of this, research shows that telemedicine can save employers hundreds of dollars when it comes to treating common health problems. The American Hospital Association reports an average savings of 11% for organizations who open a telehealth program.
- Establish a medical case management program
Programs like this have a wide range of functions, including suggesting treatment options, coordinating care, and directing employees towards those providers who offer the best care at the best price.
- Set up a clinic
Having a health and wellness clinic on-site or near your workplace can help improve quality of care and save both you and your employees money. Your clinic can offer coaching, help with managing chronic conditions, wellness screenings, and more. This is a great way to educate your employees about their health and improve overall wellness. In this way, clinics are essentially a form of preventive care, which can reduce the need for expensive medications or treatments in the future.
- Try direct primary care
Direct primary care, or DPC, is a form of insurance-free health coverage. Participants simply pay a flat monthly rate. DPCs remove the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and can provide higher-quality care with fewer out-of-pocket expenses.
- Start a financial wellness program for your employees
Most employees worry about their finances to at least some degree, and a recent survey from Bankrate reports that nearly 50% consider finances to be their primary source of stress. This stress can distract them at work, reduce productivity, and even increase healthcare claims. Setting up a financial wellness program is a simple way to help your employees take control of their finances and get some much-needed peace of mind.