The Business Group Blog was created to share and discuss information about challenges and solutions to the health care benefits issues that large employers face today and tomorrow — such as controlling health care costs, reforming the health care delivery system, and engaging employees in their health and benefits — and will provide insight into national health policy issues. We hope you find this information useful and will consider subscribing to the blog and sharing any thoughts or ideas with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through a variety of employer, vendor and expert interviews, Global Business Group on HealthSM (GBGH) staff developed a list of “lessons learned” for employers who are considering purchasing a global employee assistance program (EAP). Some key issues to keep in mind include:
Close to a quarter of large employers (24%) plan to actively promote accountable care organizations (ACOs) in 2017. ACOs consist of health care providers that are creating a delivery model that ultimately accepts responsibility for the quality and cost of care for a defined population. However, it is not always clear how ACOs differentiate from the market or how they are consistently achieving initial contract goals and reducing costs. A common question employers ask is, “Is an ACO right for my company?”
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared an opioid “epidemic” in the U.S. in 2011, and concern about this issue continues to grow. Employees that misuse or abuse prescription opioids are more likely to miss work, incur higher health care costs, file disability claims, and get demoted or fired. Sadly, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record, and more than 60% of these deaths involved an opioid.
Employers can take several steps to stem the misuse of these drugs and provide assistance to employees and dependents in need of assistance to treat pain and addiction.
In response to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address and subsequent urging by the U.S. Department of Labor, state and local governments across the country have enacted paid leave mandates requiring employers to provide paid sick and parental/family leave.
As more companies move to a consumerism strategy, increasing employee engagement on all fronts—from decision support and concierge services to telehealth, transparency and health improvement—is a top priority. Employers are introducing innovative new benefits, programs and technologies in an effort to engage employees to be better health care consumers.
Encouraging employees to take all of their allotted time-off (PTO) each year is a cost effective way to improve overall employee well-being.
According to a recent report by Project: Time Off, 55% of surveyed American workers did not use all of their vacation or PTO days in 2015. This translates to 658 million unused days.1 While the impact this has on employees and their stress level, job satisfaction and overall well-being has been widely publicized, employers are also negatively affected by PTO/vacation carryover.
While health care is not a top priority on the campaign trail and not top of voters’ minds this year, who wins on November 8 will impact the health care agenda in Washington in 2017. According to analysis presented in the Business Group’s special election year webinar earlier this week, even though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don’t offer many details about their health policy priorities, we can glean enough information from them and from Congress to make some predictions.