Many employers are already turning to high-deductible health plans, a more rational insurance design that is intended to align each employee’s financial incentives toward maintaining better health and using healthcare more intelligently by promoting more value-conscious consumerism.
However, to optimize the impact of consumer-driven plans, employers need to equip employees with the data and tools needed to be proactive about their health and discerning about their use of healthcare services. They can do this by giving employees access and control over their personal health information, customized tools and services to help them achieve their health and wellness goals, and comparative price and quality data for healthcare providers and services. Everything you would expect from any normal consumer market.
Employers are uniquely positioned to make this happen. They pay the bills.
It works like this. Provide employees with Personal Health Records to put them in control of their health data aggregated from plans, labs, pharmacies, and providers. Employees become more informed and active participants in their care, and are able to share their health history with providers to receive better coordinated, higher quality, and more efficient care.
Use aggregated personal health information to power an entire ecosystem of health solutions customized to meet employees’ specific health needs – from blood pressure tracking to diabetes management, from pregnancy support to comparative pricing tools, and everything in between. Engage employees to make use of these data and tools through integration with incentive programs, plan design, and corporate culture. This helps employer and employees unite around shared goals: optimizing health while getting the highest value healthcare possible.
Employers become better positioned to drive supply side innovation by reclaiming control as payers from entities whose financial interests are not aligned and bringing market forces to drive efficiencies in the healthcare industry.
To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill “You can always count on US employers to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”
Employers have been the sleeping giant of healthcare. They are now faced with few options but to actually wake up and get proactive about demanding more value from healthcare spending. When employers start using the giant-sized levers available to them, it will be good for employees, shareholders, and the healthcare system overall.
This post was written byColin Evans, President and CEO Dossia Consortium and Craig Barrett, Dossia’s Board of Directors and Former Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation