In our 2017 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, we asked employers to rate the importance of strategies they will be using over the next five years to advance the triple aim of lower cost, higher quality, and a better member experience. This post on pulling point solutions into your benefits strategy is part of a series that looks at these six key strategies.
It seems point solutions are all the buzz these days. Since the term isn’t self-explanatory, it might be helpful to define it. A point solution is a specific service that a vendor provides within your benefits program. Typically, it’s offered by a new, innovative company that is looking to fill a gap in the healthcare system. A solution might address a specific condition, like Livongo for diabetes; or support lifestyle change, like Zipongo for weight and nutrition. It might be a technology play to drive engagement like Evive or the vendor formerly known as Jiff; or a specialized network to provide easy access to expert medical opinions, like Best Doctors. Within Mercer LABS in the Center for Health Innovation, we have evaluated hundreds of new programs over the past several years.
So how do you know whether point solutions are right for you? I hosted a panel of three employers at a conference recently and their use of point solutions ranged from 12 to 3 to none. And they all had good reasons for the approach they’d taken -- or hadn’t taken! Here are a few guidelines for making decisions about pulling point solutions into your program.
For some specific examples, check out Leading the Way: Employer Innovations in Health Coverage to learn how Princeton University implemented an expert medical opinion program that resulted in 20% of patients using the EMO receiving a different diagnosis and two-thirds another treatment option to consider. PepsiCo implemented an integrated platform to support better access to programs, and saw a 61% increase in the use of their transparency tool and a 25% increase in telemedicine visits. A high-tech company implemented a new infertility point solution and reduced the rate of multiple-birth pregnancies to less than 3%. There are many more stories like these. What will your story be?
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