Employers are finding new ways to cut health care costs

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Seniors swap hospital visits for iPads

Employers are getting extra concerned of their staff’ well being care with a purpose to hold prices below management.

A rising variety of firms are contracting immediately with hospitals and suppliers to handle their workers, in response to an annual survey launched Tuesday by the Nationwide Enterprise Group on Well being, an business group targeted on massive firms. Some 11% stated they’ll do that in 2019, up from three% this yr.

Common Motors (GM) and Henry Ford Well being System in Detroit introduced such a contract on Monday. The six-hospital system will present entry to greater than three,000 main care and specialty medical doctors, in addition to hospital, emergency room and pharmacy providers, by way of GM’s new “ConnectedCare” plan choice.

Practically 24,000 salaried staff in Southeast Michigan and their households will have the ability to select this coverage, which can begin subsequent yr. The settlement additionally supplies wellness exams, continual care monitoring and preventative screenings, in addition to immediate appointments with suppliers and digital go to choices.

“GM’s upcoming ConnectedCare choice comes from our ongoing quest to enhance worker well being, whereas additionally in search of to offset rising well being care prices for each the worker and the corporate,” stated Sheila Savageau, US healthcare chief at GM.

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Additionally rising in popularity are direct contracts between firms and suppliers to deal with sure expensive situations, resembling most cancers, heart problems, fertility therapies and orthopedic wants. Some 18% of firms stated they’re negotiating these offers for 2019, up from 12% this yr, in response to the survey.

Employers are additionally offering extra digital care choices for his or her staff, with half saying that is their high well being care initiative for 2019. Telemedicine is just one part of this effort. Digital care additionally encompasses apps that present digital teaching, continual situation administration and distant monitoring. Some firms are additionally offering entry to digital bodily remedy and psychological care.

These adjustments come as well being care prices proceed to rise. Employers mission the full price ticket for offering medical and pharmacy advantages subsequent yr will rise 5% for the sixth consecutive yr to a median of $14,800. Corporations cowl roughly 70% of that value.

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Corporations are additionally realizing they can not hold pushing the burden onto their staff within the type of increased deductibles and out-of-pocket prices. In actual fact, for the primary time in 4 years, the variety of corporations providing high-deductible well being plans as the one selection is dropping, slipping to 30% for 2019, down from 39% this yr.

“Now not capable of depend on conventional value sharing methods to handle prices, a rising variety of employers are taking an activist function in shaking up how care is delivered and paid for,” stated Mind Marcotte, CEO of the Nationwide Enterprise Group on Well being.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed August 7, 2018: three:55 PM ET

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