Employer Clinic, Employer Health Benefits

A Better Kind of Health Spend Stewardship

Excerpt below from Nexus of Care: Fulfilling the Promise of Employer-Sponsored Health Centers by Phillip Berry

When you think about stewardship, as it relates to a self-funded employer’s spend on health benefits, the goal is to convert that spend into an investment. Do you look at your portfolio annually and adjust just once a year? Few of us will sit back and watch our money bleed out in an underperforming investment. However, if we can’t see that it is bleeding out or feel there is nothing we can do, then there is no adjustment to be made. This is also where we begin to see opportunities to mitigate risk.

Because our visibility is so limited on the healthcare spend, we are perpetually reacting to things that happened months or even the year before. As decision-makers, such poor visibility does little to foster feelings of confidence as it relates to managing the spend. However, if we improve our visibility, we become more confident in what is happening with our money and we begin to see the possibility of a managed investment rather than a reactive cost. We’ll discuss this more in the next chapter.

As costs continue to rise and outcomes continue to get worse, we become more and more dissatisfied with our healthcare system. A feeling of helplessness leads to hopelessness in the system and our ability to influence it. That is the big lie. That is the real problem. Employers are figuring out they do possess the power to influence costs and outcomes. We are discovering that we can better manage our healthcare dollars and help our employees live their best lives. We feel the call to a better kind of stewardship, and the path forward is becoming more and more clear.

In the next chapter, we’ll talk about the employer’s ongoing quest for influence over health costs and outcomes and set the stage for the Nexus of Care approach.


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