If five specific health conditions did not exist, large employers' healthcare spending per member per month could be declining instead of growing, according to a Health Action Council and UnitedHealth Group report.
Health Action Council is a large employer nonprofit that consists of more than 200 large companies that cover over 2.8 million employees.
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The nonprofit partnered with UnitedHealth Group to gather Health Action Council members’ data from UnitedHealthcare, UMR—a third-party administrator under UnitedHealth Group—, and Optum. The partners studied 57 large employers distributed across all 50 states with 281,000 total covered lives, of which 125,000 were employees.
Inspecting this data for trends, they determined that 63 percent of Health Action Council covered lives had at least one of five conditions that were driving healthcare costs.
Since the coronavirus pandemic was active in the US for four of the 24 months of this research period, the researchers acknowledged that coronavirus may have had some impact on the results.
Additionally, the Health Action Council's membership and covered lives do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all employers, employees, and dependents. For example, the report noted that medication adherence among Health Action Council covered lives tends to be higher than the national rate.
Nonetheless, the report provided useful insights into the prevalence of five costly conditions that are boosting healthcare spending among employers.
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