Those of us who believe it’s high time for employers to lead the charge for value in healthcare were heartened by a recent commentary in CFO by Michael Thompson, who leads the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.
“As the largest purchasers of health care outside of the federal government, employers have been left with little choice but to chart their own course and drive for health-care quality and value,” writes Thompson. “Purchasers have always had the most balanced perspectives on the health-care system — valuing the need to support and improve the health, well-being, and productivity of their workforce while needing desperately to manage the costs and value of a runaway system.”
To that end, Thompson notes the emergence of employer coalitions and a number of strategies – from consumer advocacy efforts to onsite clinics, enhanced wellness efforts, combined purchasing power, and leveraging artificial intelligence.
It’s encouraging to note the growing consistency and momentum in the market around this concept of employer-led transformation. At Mercer, we not only support the National Alliance’s position, we want to do all we can to build on it. Here are some foundational actions we believe should be taken by employers to make meaningful progress against the goal of creating a more rational healthcare system that supports employers' strategic objectives:
These steps – along with the strong support of the National Alliance and other industry voices – will go a long way toward achieving what once seemed far from reach, but no longer need be: an employer-based healthcare system that works for all of us.
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