Blog 1: Reduce the Need for Healthcare, Improve Patient Satisfaction and Cost Reduction
(Aug 16, 2021) – The United States spends close to $4 trillion on medical care each year, and costs continue to rise. The recently published 2021 Milliman Medical Index projects an eight percent increase in healthcare cost this year, based on Milliman’s model.
A significant portion of this cost is paid for by employers. Roughly 155 million Americans receive their healthcare through employer sponsored health benefits, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Employers in the US, seeking to address this challenge, have tried multiple approaches in managing their health benefit plans, but poor health outcomes, rising costs and patient dissatisfaction continue.
A closer look at the data reveals a promising path forward. The McKinsey Group found in its analysis 31 percent of US healthcare costs can be attributed directly to “behaviorally influenced chronic conditions,” while 69 percent of costs are influenced by consumer behaviors. These behaviorally related issues include things like poor diet and exercise, low compliance with prescription regimens, failure to understand and/or follow physician recommendations, and resistance to recommended health screenings.
More important than targeting ways to make healthcare procedures less expensive, stakeholders should focus on making healthcare procedures less necessary. The key is to identify individuals who are most at risk for poor health outcomes and actively engage with them in long-term advocacy—help them think differently about their health and modify the behavior patterns that increase their health risk.
Easier said than done, but doable and provable.
Veritas Healthcare Management has developed an innovative and powerful program that engages the at-risk person to produce sustained improvement in health, greater satisfaction and reduced healthcare need and cost. We plan to share this with employers in the coming months.
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