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A Bold, Outcomes-Focused Solution to Help Employers Close Gaps in Care 

May 20, 2021 / Corporate Wellness

Written By: Jordan Dunne

Healthcare costs are rising, and COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the rate at which they’re climbing. Employees are less compliant with their preventive care, condition standards of care and have added stress because of the pandemic, creating a tsunami impact on upcoming costs. Now, organizations face the need to reduce the cost burden while also trying to maintain competitive with benefits.

What’s Driving Medical Costs?  

The prevalence of chronic disease in the United States is staggering. At least 6 in 10 adults are living with a chronic condition like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity—all largely preventable or well-managed by engaging in a healthy lifestyle. Add in racial and socioeconomic health disparities influenced by lack of education and resources, the high cost of prescription drugs, and limited access to preventive care, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster on our hands. 

Currently sitting at 7.3% in the U.S., two-thirds of respondents included in Willis Towers Watson’s 2021 Global Medical Trends Survey Report expect a continued acceleration of medical costs over the next three years, thanks in large part to the high rates of chronic disease and the significant percentage of people who avoided medical treatment during the height of the pandemicFear of contracting the coronavirus led an estimated 40.9% of adults in the U.S. to delay or forgo care, with 31.5% avoiding routine care and 12% (mostly high-risk individuals who already heavily contribute to the healthcare economic burden) avoiding emergency care.1  

Our healthcare system was already broken before COVID-19 arrived. Now, it’s in critical condition.  

How Do Healthcare Costs Impact Employers? 

It’s simple. The price tags for employer-sponsored health insurance packages are steadily increasing by 4-6% each year, well beyond the rate of inflation. In 2020, the average annual cost for family healthcare premiums was $21,342, rising 55% in the last ten years.2  

While employers are largely responsible for this cost burden, employees are not exempt from the devastating impact of rising premiums and deductibles. The inability to cover medical expenses not only prevents employees from seeking necessary preventive or urgent care, but it also increases financial stress and risk of mental ill health, encourages the adoption of unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse, tobacco use, and poor lifestyle behaviors and hurts workplace productivity.  

What Do Organizations Need to Improve the Health of Their Workforce? 

Providing health insurance and paid time off are no longer adequate measures for protecting the health of your people and your business. While more than 9 in 10 executives say reducing healthcare costs is a top motivator when designing wellness programs, many are unaware of the key features a digital employee wellbeing program should include to successfully achieve that goal.  

In order to see meaningful changes in the prevalence of chronic conditions and medical claims costs, employee health and engagement, and business outcomes, employee wellbeing programs should: 

  • Support the broad scope of wellbeing needs your diverse workforce is facing. 
  • Be a trusted source for providing clinically-measured outcomes. 
  • Utilize high-tech and high-touch features to meet the personalized wellness needs of each member of your workforce. 
  • Provide a seamless and connected user experience where members can access all of their health and wellbeing needs in one easy-to-use platform. 
  • Offer holistic support across physical, mental, social, community, and financial to support the employee healthcare journey. 
  • Impact the drivers of chronic condition through lifestyle interventions and clinically-based preventive exams, screenings, and vaccinations gap closure health literacy. 
  • Help employees understand the importance of closing preventive gaps in care and empower them to do so. 
  • Strike the right balance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for lasting behavior change. 
  • Deliver the results promised. 

The majority of gaps in care solutions available today don’t satisfy these needs. They fail to achieve meaningful and reliable outcomes because they disrupt established routines while simultaneously pushing individuals to adopt new and unfamiliar activities outside of their context and without ongoing support. This approach to care gaps impacts employee perception of their organization and reinforces healthcare benefits’ complexity. 

Help is on the way with the VP Health Risk Bundle. 

The VP Health Risk Bundle is a bold outcomes-focused solution that helps self-insured employers achieve meaningful improvement on clinically measured outcomes by closing gaps in care and improving conditions compliance. By bringing together an industry-leading configuration of products, services, and programming, purpose-built to drive targeted health outcomes, the VP Health Risk Bundle integrates population health data and VP Live coaching and guides for every employee, targeting high-risk members to improve care compliance.  

Learn more about how the VP Health Risk Bundle supports your choice of five preventive and condition compliance gaps in care, guaranteeing improvement with up to 25% fees-at-risk performance guarantee. 

 

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a4.htm  
https://hrexecutive.com/employer-sponsored-healthcare-costs-top-21k-a-year  

About The Author

Jordan Dunne is a copywriter and editor on the marketing team at Virgin Pulse, focusing on social strategy and health and wellbeing content. Outside of work, you can find her at the gym, hosting trivia, taking photos of food, or snuggling up on the couch with her dogs.

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