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.
The governor of Washington State declared a local public health emergency last week after a measles outbreak just outside of Portland, Oregon infected over 35 individuals, most of whom were unvaccinated. Considered all but eradicated in the U.S. just two decades ago due to widespread use of very effective vaccines, this potentially deadly disease has made a return. What can employers do to encourage vaccination amongst employees and their children? How can they go about increasing use of evidence-based vaccines for several diseases?
Last week, 120 employers and industry leaders came together in Washington, DC for the NBGH Employers’ Summit on Health Care Costs & Solutions. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Kathryn Phillips, founder and director of the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine regarding the evolving landscape of genetic tests and treatments and the ways to evaluate their economic value.
With the new year came a federal mandate for hospitals across the country to release their chargemasters, or price lists, for all services offered at their facilities. What impact will this have on increasing price transparency for the average health care consumer? Will it help or hurt continued price transparency efforts?
So much is going on within the health care industry: both incumbents and new entrants seek to disrupt a landscape further complicated by mega-mergers and other consolidation. This spring, approximately 500 employers, industry leaders and benefits professionals will convene to explore and discuss the latest trends, best practices and strategies for health care benefits.
The FDA approval and release of treatments for hepatitis C in late 2013 were a game changer in the treatment of this disease. But the price tags caught self-insured employers off guard. The launch of Sovaldi and other therapies paved the way towards a shorter and simplified means to a cure for these patients. This new class of specialty medications was both extremely promising and extremely expensive: for some, prohibitively so.
Health care costs are rising, and the new year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and more transformations. How do employers stay ahead of changes and keep costs low for our employees?
The statistics are alarming. Between 2017 and 2018, e-cigarette use rose by more than 75% for high school teens and by nearly 50% for middle school-age children. Moreover, many youth don't realize that e-cigarettes are harmful and contain nicotine. The most commonly sold e-cigarette, the Juul cartridge, contains about as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.