Our business is affected by healthcare reform just like yours. Of the 2.7 trillion dollars spent on healthcare, over two-thirds of the expenditure is going towards salaries and wages—that productivity in healthcare has been negative year over year. Simply put: the US is not getting it’s money’s worth.
There are many factors that contribute to the lack of alignment between spending and outcomes: 1) Unnecessary admissions 2) Unnecessary readmissions 3) Unnecessary doctor visits and referrals 4) Unnecessary tests, just to name a few.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is expected to add about 30 million new patients to the healthcare system. Addressing the needs of these new patients by simply adding more labor will only increase healthcare spending and further reduce productivity without correcting the underlying problems such as those outlined above.
The ACA, HITECH Act, and the Health Data Initiative are designed to mitigate these challenges. They are intended to make the US healthcare system more productive and reduce health care costs for employers and consumers.
As we all navigate and usher in the reform in our healthcare it is our responsibility to find new and creative ways to service our clients and keep them informed about the opportunities. We know these opportunities start with good, clear communication of the changes to the employees that work for your employers. Communications of benefits is only going to become a more critical component of effectively managing benefits. Voluntary benefits and gap coverage be can be utilized effectively for those groups that are thinking about adopting Health Savings Accounts for their employees.
Remember, when change occurs it creates tremendous opportunity to find new creative solutions, and, in most cases, those changes can create positive economic benefits for both your employers and their employees.