Steering Employees to High-Value Health Care

The first step of steering employees to high-value health care is to identify high-dollar claims based on your health plan costs; examine what claims you spend on most frequently and where you spend it.

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Finding Cost-Saving Opportunities

The Alliance negotiates lower costs as a percentage of Medicare, but costs for a specific procedure can still vary greatly between providers. The first step of steering is to identify high-dollar claims based on your health plan costs; examine what claims you spend on most frequently and where you spend it.

For example, the cost of surgery to place ear tubes in young children (myringotomy) is just one procedure that greatly varies in cost depending on where treatment occurs. Fortunately, some providers do a high volume of these surgeries – an indicator of quality care – and those providers are also likely to have better contracted rates because of it.

If you’re interested in finding cost-saving opportunities, see how we can help.

Incentives are a Win-Win

Once you identify where you can achieve significant savings, the next step is getting employee “buy-in.” Financial incentives that reward employees for choosing high-value care are crucial. To put it simply: you must share the savings with employees so you both reap the benefits from choosing a high-value provider – a well-designed incentive means everyone saves.

 

Communication is Key

Unless employees know about your new incentives, they simply won’t use them, so communicating incentives are a crucial component of steering. Employers need to share information across the company in many forms and on a consistent basis so employees remember the offer when making health care decisions.

Employers can add incentives to their benefits plan, encouraging employee use of certain doctors and hospitals – not to limit employee choice but to choose those that deliver the best care at the lowest cost.

Smarter HealthSM Analysis

Our proprietary Smarter Health analysis offers deep insights into where your employees are seeking high-cost care — and where you can save — without compromising health care quality. Smarter Health is completely custom to each employer and helps you gain transparent access into your claims data. This is a foundational piece towards creating a successful employee steering program. Smarter Health is only available to employer-members of The Alliance.

Employers can add incentives to their benefits plan, encouraging employee use of certain doctors and hospitals – not to limit employee choice but to choose those that deliver the best care at the lowest cost.

Smarter Care AdvisorSM 

Our new patient tool, Smarter Care Advisor, helps employees understand where to find a procedure and how much it might cost. They can search for services within a 100-mile range of their location and get contact information for a provider along with a cost estimate! Smarter Care Advisor helps educate and empower employees to make better health care decisions, which is the first step to a successful steering program!

Steering Works for All Sizes of Employers

Steerage programs aren’t just for small-to-midsize businesses. Companies like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, The Boeing Company, Pepsi, and Safeway have all implemented changes that steered employees to higher value care that saved money.

  • Wisconsin alone could save $394 million per year if employers steered their patients to high-value, low-cost providers. Contact Account Management to find out how much you could save.
  • The creation of benefit designs that explicitly encourage consumers to act on price and quality information, including reference pricing, tiered networks, centers of excellence contracting and V-BID, is a step toward a system that provides and rewards high-value care, while simultaneously driving waste from the health care system.

Featured Insights on Benefit Design & Analytics

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Are you an employer interested in learning more about steerage?

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