As employers, we all struggle to balance income and operating cost. One of the biggest expenditures, after salaries, is the cost of healthcare for employees. In an era of increasing healthcare costs, many employers are looking for new ideas to contain those expenses. There are some strategies you can use to realize cost savings while improving the health of your employees.
1. Addressing Employee Health Issues Early
It may seem counterintuitive to tell employees to go to the doctor regularly to save money, but when health issues are detected and addressed early on (before they become big problems) the long-term cost of care is significantly lower. Encourage employees to establish a relationship with a primary care physician that will detect, monitor, and effectively manage most chronic illnesses. A well-controlled illness can eliminate the need for unanticipated visits to the emergency department and/or costly procedures.
2. Redirecting Patient Health Before It Deteriorates
Many health plans have now embraced a population health model where representatives from the insurance company begin working with patients before they go to the doctor. By offering biometric screenings to identify risk for certain conditions, intervention can happen early and patients have the opportunity to redirect their health before it deteriorates.
3. Providing Wellness Clinics and Pharmacy Services to Employees
Partnering directly with healthcare providers is another way to cut costs. Hendricks Regional Hospital has successfully partnered with organizations to provide wellness clinics and pharmacy services to employees, saving both the employer and employee cash while delivering the convenience of on-site care. We also offer narrow network opportunities for the delivery of hospital services.
4. Encouraging Healthy Lifestyles
Another tactic for saving healthcare dollars is to bring physical fitness into the workplace. Make walking meetings a regular practice, offer fitness center memberships as a benefit of employment, sponsor employee weight loss contests, or reward milestones of physical fitness, such as gift cards for every road race or triathlon an employee completes. Promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyles will benefit your organization by making employees more engaged and more productive.
Everyone has the right to shop around and find high quality care at affordable prices. With health plans transforming each year, and employees contributing more of their own cash toward their health costs, we will all become more cost conscious healthcare consumers. Changing habits and attitudes takes a long-term commitment, but the results are certainly worth the effort.