Reasons Large Employers Choose High-Value Medical Practice
Better outcomes at lower costs.
That’s the goal behind the push to get physicians to embrace high-value and effective medical care. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services lists it as a primary objective in its strategic plan. The American College of Physicians created an initiative aimed at helping physicians provide the best possible patient care while reducing unnecessary costs. And consumers are increasingly being educated on the benefits of seeking out high-value medical practices. But there’s another reason physicians should get behind the effort: Large employers are choosing high-value medical practices.
For example, GE Aviation recently requested that Providence Medical Group in Dayton, Ohio, become a large-scale, patient-centered medical home. Like other large employers, GE Aviation required its employees’ primary care providers to be certified as a PCMH, which means it consistently delivers high-quality service as well as convenience to patients in a cost-efficient manner.
And GE Aviation isn’t alone. Here’s why.
The financial struggle is real
Healthcare costs are consistently ranked among the top challenges facing employers. According to the Wasp Barcode “State of Small Business Report,” 32 percent of companies with between 101 and 499 employees listed employee healthcare as a top concern. And according to a report published by the American Health Policy Institute, companies with 10,000 or more employees expect to see increases in healthcare costs of up to $5,900 per employee over the next decade.
Yes, the financial struggle is real for employers when it comes
to healthcare, so companies are increasingly looking for high-value medical practices as a way to keep both their employees and their bottom lines healthier.
Employees are less healthy than they used to be
In 2006, the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying that one-fifth of the nation’s workforce would be 55 or older by 2015. That prediction has come to fruition—and employers are faced with the prospect of providing benefits to employees who are older and hence have greater healthcare needs.
Older people tend to have more chronic illnesses that, if not controlled, can lead to emergency department visits, hospitalization and complications. Prevention can be an expensive proposition, which is why large employers are looking to high-value medical practices to help keep direct costs (such as medical and pharmaceutical interventions) lower. The added benefit to employers is that keeping their workforce healthy also saves money on indirect costs (long-term disability, unscheduled absences and decreased job performance).
According to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal, big businesses are turning to big data to help keep employees healthy—and lower their healthcare costs.
The story documents how companies, including Walmart and J.P. Morgan Chase, are using big data mining to track the health of their employees. The companies are determining which procedures are most costly, how to save money by encouraging employees to seek second opinions, and which providers are more likely to prescribe expensive procedures most often.
Create strategic partnerships. Many practices find that partnering with third-party care providers can help them improve outcomes. For example, Diagnostic Partners may be used to offer on-site cardiovascular imaging services.
See what satisfied clients have to say about Diagnostic Partners
“If you compare Diagnostic Partners to other local scanning services, I would be very surprised if you find one that does better. This is one of those win-win opportunities to better serve your patients while helping your practice.”
Jay Hester, MGMA Member, Administrator
Huntsville Pediatric & Adult Medicine Associates