For many employers, the price of providing healthcare benefits is becoming unaffordable. It’s the largest employee-related expense for U.S. employers, averaging 7.3% of total compensation in the private sector. With 70% of employers anticipating a moderate to significant increase in their healthcare costs over the next three years, employers are grappling with different cost-containment strategies to implement in the near-term.
A rising theme in the healthcare system in regard to both cost containment and health quality is preventative healthcare. By implementing preventative healthcare strategies, employers can improve the health of members and decrease avoidable costs.
Preventative healthcare reduces overall spend on employees
So, what’s driving the exorbitant healthcare costs for employers? A small percentage of employees typically reflect the most amount of spend. It’s common for employers to see 5% of their plan members account for over 60% of their total medical claims. This is because “high-risk” individuals' medical conditions often go undiagnosed until serious medical intervention is required.
Of course, not all chronic conditions are avoidable. However, preventive care, including routine check-ups and screenings, can lead to early detection of diseases and more affordable care solutions. In fact, studies show that engaging with an annual visit with a primary care provider drives savings on healthcare costs of 33%.
Preventative healthcare increases utilization and overall well-being
It’s clear that preventative care has immense benefits for patients and the healthcare systems that support them. For example, studies show that engaging in an annual visit with a PCP leads to 19% lower odds of premature death.
Yet, 70% of individuals don’t schedule annual PCP visits and over 50% forgo recommended cancer screenings. As mentioned, routine check-ups and screenings are vital for preventing the progression of serious illnesses. Such services can include:
- Blood pressure screening
- Colorectal cancer screening for adults 45 to 75 years
- Diabetes (Type 2) screening for adults 40 to 70 years who are overweight or obese
- Lung cancer screening
- Tuberculosis screening for certain adults without symptoms at high risk
It’s important to educate members about the services available to them through their benefits, along with encouraging them to take advantage of these services. Employee health incentive programs are often helpful in increasing such utilization efforts.
Increasing preventative care is easier with a healthcare guidance platform
Implementing a healthcare guidance platform is another way to encourage members to take preventative care measures. These solutions make it easier to navigate the healthcare system, removing a lot of the frustration and anxiety around finding a good doctor.
Amino is the leading data-driven healthcare guidance platform that drives savings, increases member satisfaction, and improves health outcomes. Understanding the importance of preventative care, Amino makes it easy to find high-quality, cost-effective PCPs, and encourages every user to identify a PCP upon account creation. Amino also provides visibility into cost of care, as cost often deters members from engaging in preventative healthcare.
The increasing cost of healthcare is a complex matter that requires systemic reform. Still, there’s much that employers can do to contain costs for their own member populations. By proactively encouraging preventative care, employers will not only see notable improvements in health outcomes, but also significant savings to their bottom lines.
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