Increasing healthcare costs pose major challenges for employers seeking to create and sustain a healthy and productive workforce. In 2014, Walmart was forced to terminate healthcare coverage for up to 30,000 part-time workers due to $500 MM spent that year on health insurance.
Facing the pressure to cut healthcare costs, progressive employers are strategically aligning with highly selective Centers of Excellence, who are establishing hospitals with highly efficient service lines to act as a destination for specialized care attracting patients and employers. Walmart recently announcing their latest bundled payment partnership with New England Baptist Hospital further demonstrates the identification of financial incentives translated through these models.
Maximizing financial opportunities to coincide with improving health outcomes for employees are driving the rapid expansion to adopt employer-provider relationships including GE, Walmart, Jet Blue, and Lowe’s. With value-based care at the center of focus, proactively pursuing an alignment with Centers of Excellence are proving to be a priority for successful growth.
Employers aren’t the only ones proactively pursuing partnerships. Recognizing the opportunity to attract larger volumes of patients, providers are deliberately establishing themselves as Centers of Excellence by implementing new methods of care delivery that demonstrate better quality outcomes and reduce variation.
Failing to meet certain benchmarks in the bundled payment model is a financial risk for providers, which increases the stakes in improving outcomes while and reducing healthcare cost. In response, providers are concentrating on high-cost areas and incorporating new online technologies that further develop their communication and patient engagement beyond the hospital.
As a solution to trim healthcare costs, providers are implementing digital solutions to reduce usage of post-acute home health and therapy services. Digitally extending the communication and control outside the hospital allows providers to deliver high-quality care to higher volumes of patients.
Several studies with leading Centers of Excellence now show that providers who deliver remote rehab through digital platforms can successfully manage patients and improve outcomes. As employers pursue leading providers for potential partnerships, providers must find ways to demonstrate their ability to deliver value. Establishing a Center of Excellence to employers requires innovative solutions and adoption of technologies such as episode-of-care platforms for bundled-payment success.