During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers continued with the status quo because of the many other items they had to address, most notably new business models that included expanded work-from-home policies.
Now employers are looking ahead and evaluating their employee benefits program to ensure they have the right plan in place to address a changing environment and new budget concerns.
Rod Reasen, CEO of the health data analytics firm Springbuk, points to five healthcare micro-trends that emerged during the past year. Business leaders must recognize these items if they are to respond to employee healthcare issues and actively manage their costs
- Preventive care visits are down.
- Elective surgeries are down.
- There are delays in acute and chronic care.
- There are delays in cancer care.
- Mental health needs are skyrocketing.
“With the significant decrease in utilization for essential health care services, it can be assumed that this reduction in current utilization is going to lead to a future influx of demand for care,” Reasen writes on Benefits Pro, a website dedicated to the benefits industry. “This backlog of needed services will grow exponentially as current delays may cause increased complications.”
In other words, while the COVID-19 crisis continues to demand immediate attention, it’s critical that organizations have a strategic plan for managing all the healthcare costs that lie ahead.
That’s the reason behind Alera Group’s upcoming webinar Advanced Strategies and Rising Healthcare Costs, an event designed for employers to understand healthcare system trends and the solutions they can implement to mitigate or reduce increasing claims and premiums. We’ll help you address three objectives that would serve as game-changers for your organization and its bottom line:
- Improve plan members’ health
- Lower member costs
- Lower employer costs.
Cost Containment and Analytics
Like Springbuk’s Reasen, the independent healthcare merchant bank TripleTree Holdings takes a close look at industry micro-trends. It cites four trends in healthcare cost management that have been driven by self-funded employers and are likely to continue in 2021:
- Emphasis on physician quality
- Improved pharmacy cost containment
- Advanced specialty condition management
- Modern tools enabling employees to better utilize and navigate their benefits.
These modern tools include data analytics platforms that enable employers to monitor and analyze micro-trends, essential steps in advanced healthcare strategies.
Webinar Registration and Certification Credit
During our March 18 webinar, our experts will discuss analytics and help you navigate the complex landscape of advanced strategies available to improve your organization’s physical, mental and financial health. To register, click on the link below.
This event has been approved for HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) credits. You must be on for the duration of the webinar to receive credits.
About the Author
Ryan Johnson, CBC
Alera Group Texas
Ryan Johnson is a Senior Partner in the benefits consulting division of Alera Group Texas, specializing in working with mid-market companies to improve and fine-tune their employee benefit offerings. He is involved in all aspects of negotiations, plan architecture, contribution strategy, carrier selection, employee communication and ongoing support. Ryan enjoys collaborating with clients, problem-solving, and providing new strategies that can improve a business’ plan for the company and its employees. Ryan’s creative and progressive ideas have helped many companies save a significant amount of money while maintaining a rich benefit offering. He is a member of Alera Benefit Advisory Board.
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