Business Group Blog

5 Key Takeaways from Business Health Agenda 2017

Business Health Agenda 2017

 

On March 29-31, over 500 HR/benefits and health care professionals came together in Washington, DC for the Business Group’s annual conference Business Health Agenda. This year’s conference focused on employee communication and engagement, innovation in health care and pharmacy delivery and health care policy and regulation. The following five key takeaways were gleaned from 3-day event.

1. Big data is here 

Employers looking for the next new approach to better engage employees are focused on leveraging data to make more meaningful connections with their workforce. Big data can help employers and their vendors understand how and who influences an employee’s health behaviors.

2. Behavioral health has a ways to go—and employers are doing something about it

Of individuals who sought behavioral health treatment in the past year, a stunning 74% faced at least one obstacle in doing so. On the upside, employers identify this is a very real issue—in fact, 9 in 10 employers say it’s an important priority—and some companies are leading the way through resiliency programs that target stress, earlier identification of high-risk patients and recalibrating employee assistance programs (EAP) to better serve employees and their dependents.

3. Today’s pharmacy benefit management is complex

Value-based pharmacy contracts garner a lot of attention, but aren’t for every medication. In the light of recent pharmaceutical pricing debate, employers are becoming more vested in learning the pharmacy distribution chain.

4. Employees are overwhelmed with health care and need a central place to go

The employee experience needs to be on par with the consumer experience, that is, is consumer-centric, constantly iterating, and is mobile-forward. Experts project that concierge and navigator models will continue to grow as employees seek more answers to their health care challenges.

5. Washington is a busy place for health care policy

This isn’t a new learning, but prominent throughout Business Health Agenda. On the tails of the failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act, employers were encouraged to stay vigilant on key aspects like the ACA excise tax, other attempts to tax health benefits, delivery and payment reform and pharmacy pricing controls.

 

Members—keep an eye out for the Key Insights document coming soon!