Our plan consists of three core platforms:
Consumer responsibility – We implemented a consumer-driven health plan. These types of plans have at their core a very basic truth: behavior changes on a dime when employees and associates have accounts that are tied to high deductibles and co-insurance. Companies that have used consumer-driven health plans have enjoyed savings from 20 to 40 percent.
Prime role for primary care – The pyramid is currently upside down, with specialists providing the most care – and significantly hiking up the health care costs. Our plan was to return to the use of primary care doctors over specialists, allowing employees to receive more intimate and integrated care from their primary health provider and saving us from hefty hospital and specialist fees.
We established our own on-site clinic at Serigraph, hiring a concierge doctor to offer free primary care to any employee who signed up. The result was fewer hospital visits and a better handle on chronic illnesses among employees.
Centers of Value – We were determined to find the best providers of health care, where value meant the best combination of service, quality and price. This was – mildly put – a difficult task, filled with dead ends and complications. The sad truth is that the majority of Americans have almost no idea whether their doctor or hospital system is good, bad or average for performance. What’s more, cost is rarely discussed between patient and provider, making pricing elusive at best. However, once we were able to cut through the red tape, we made the performance and cost variation of providers viewable via the company intranet site. Employees can now make informed decisions about where they will receive care. Further, rewards are set up to steer employees to the best-in-class providers – regardless of whether they’re down the street or across the ocean. The end result is better care for employees and lower prices for companies.