This is the first post in a series related to health care cost savings. Notice I said health care, not health insurance. As mentioned in a previous post, they aren’t the same thing http://www.millbrookbenefits.com/health-care-vs-health-insurance/.
Today I met with the VP of HR at a local employer to chat about creative cost savings strategies. She and I shared the same health insurance company, so I have access to their cost of care calculator.
To prep for the meeting, I looked up the cost for a total knee replacement on the insurance company’s website. The total cost was roughly $24,000. Then I compared that cost to the same procedure at the Surgical Center of Oklahoma, a high quality facility that offers bundled pricing for planned surgical procedures. Their price is $15,499.
Why does this matter in the least to an employer in Western Massachusetts? Well, it doesn’t if you aren’t open to thinking about creative ways to control health care costs. But, if you are open to new ideas, it’s possible to structure your health plan in a manner that will offer financial incentives for employees or family members to travel to get high quality care with great outcomes at a much lower cost. In this case, with nearly $9000 in savings to work with, it would be very easy make planned surgical travel attractive to some employees.
Whether your plan is fully insured or self-insured, if you have more than 50 people eligible (not necessarily enrolled) for your health plan, the cost of your claims is driving some or all of your health care costs. Reducing the cost of claims can save you money.
There are obviously other medical facilities that offer similar bundled pricing, and there are also companies that specialize in helping employers find surgical facilities that offer the best combination of quality care and outcomes with lower, all in, bundled costs. The first step, however, is to be open minded enough to consider creative ways to contain cost.
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