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Cost Reduction Strategies: Is There A Holy Grail

Despite the noise in Washington, healthcare costs continue to be a central focus.
In the panel discussion, “Cost Reduction Strategies: Is There a Holy Grail?”, from the 2017 Health Action Council Symposium, speakers from Health Policy Institute of Ohio, Surgery Plus, Healthcare Bluebook, and Health Advocate, addressed the diverse menu of current and emerging healthcare benefit cost mitigation strategies. Panelists demonstrated the impact of various approaches to enhance patient experience as well as cost quality.
Improved health value leads to improved optimal health.
Defined as the intersection of health outcomes and sustainable healthcare spending, health value is an important consideration for employers when it comes to finding cost-effective healthcare solutions. By improving health value, including population health (health behaviors, health equity, health status and mortality) and sustainable healthcare spending, employers will be well on their way to helping establish optimal health for all parties involved. Health Value Dashboard, a tool that collects metrics related to both spend and cost, is currently available to assist with this endeavor, and is designed to help state policymakers make informed health policy decisions that lead to improved health value.
It’s time to redefine and positively enhance member experience.
Employers and employees continue to increase their spend on healthcare and health-related products and services. While expenses are increasing, overall member experience is not. Finding a high-quality provider or facility and determining the end cost can be overwhelming. But there is a light in the darkness. There are companies and programs dedicated to assisting consumers in locating the best surgeon in their network for the particular type of surgery needed. In the end, they essentially cut through the clutter, drive cost savings, and provide peace of mind in knowing the end cost of the procedure beforehand.
It is possible to overpay for low-quality care.  
Today there is a multitude of provider network strategies available from large to narrow. Narrow networks review individual provider quality outcomes, accessibility, and cost. Which is why when dealing with providers and deciding on a healthcare facility for procedures or care, it’s important to view the total package and understand all its moving parts—not just overall quality scores. Just because a facility is rated number one in heart surgery, doesn’t mean it’s number one in bone marrow transplants.
Navigating healthcare takes a human touch, data-driven health insights, and technology that engages.
The road through the current healthcare system is winding and unpaved—making navigation troublesome and a concern for many. Comprehensive, user-friendly tools, are now available to combat this issue. Offering accurate pricing, member-specific, real-time, out-of-pocket estimates, and an integrated provider directory, these tools give patients peace of mind in traversing the healthcare system. They provide patients with physician and hospital quality indicators, personalized cost savings, wellness, and chronic care alerts, and access to a full range of clinical and administrative services.
If you would like to learn more about Cost Reduction Strategies and ways to improve patient experience, click here to watch the “Cost Reduction Strategies: Is There a Holy Grail?” video presentation or view the PowerPoint.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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