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The Missing Conversation In The Healthcare Crisis


The only constant in healthcare is change.

Everyday we hear reports in the news that healthcare is broken, and plenty of discussion and debate on how best to fix it.
Most recently, the unfortunate report of a Texas wife and mother who died from Influenza after declining Tamiflu due to cost. While others focus on removing the geographic barrier to care and bringing the healthcare environment right into a patient’s home.
In the past, our government and many others have tried to help make healthcare more accessible and encourage patients to become smarter consumers through education and cost transferring.
But, here we are still having the same conversation day after day.
We here at the Health Action Council believe that the nation’s employers are the invaluable voice that will drive true healthcare change.
Candidly, when Amazon, JT Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway announced their initiative, we thought to ourselves, “Our members are already doing the heavy lifting on this issue.”
See, everyone knows that an employee’s health can directly impact the success of an organization and their community.
However, what many don’t understand is that the health and culture of their workplace and community can directly impact an employee’s health.
It’s the age-old chicken or the egg debate, but it’s that often overlooked aspect of the healthcare dilemma that drives our everyday work and inspired the 2018 Annual Conference IN*VALUE*ABLE on February 21 and 22 in Cleveland.
What we’re doing is challenging businesses to ‘ask for’ and ‘drive change’ through the alignment of resources, technology and innovation.
Until now, the two most popular strategies for benefit design have been limiting choice and transferring costs, which has proven to be ineffective in minimizing misuse and encouraging consumerism.  
What we want is for organizations to think differently before their next benefits period.
Employers need to  understand and respond to the fact that 80 percent of what impacts an employee's health is their environment: employment, literacy level, access to housing, food, transportation and a knowledgeable, supportive community, all of which can help minimize conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
So, before your next benefits period, ask tough questions like these:

  • Will the recommended changes improve care and reduce costs for both you and your employees?  
  • Do you have processes in place to ensure that you’re only paying for services included in the plan and not those that are the fault of the provider, such as never events, hospital acquired medical conditions, or readmissions within 30 days? 
  •  How can we make it easier for employees to access affordable care when they need it from a provider with proven outcomes?
  • Are both of your employee and public service benefits aligned and driven toward one common health goal?
  • How can you reduce costs while driving more favorable outcomes for employees?

These questions and more will be tackled by some of the industry’s top experts and innovative companies at next week’s conference.  
Join the conversation and get IN the know, add VALUE to your organization and enABLE your people to help solve the healthcare crisis. Register today!

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. 

Ready to take control of your employee healthcare & benefits costs?

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