How Direct Healthcare Can Benefit Unions and Taft-Hartley Funds

What are unions and Taft-Hartley funds?

Creating an equitable working relationship between employees and the organizations that employ them has long been negotiated. Often, those conversations are centered around working hours and conditions, healthcare, wages, retirement benefits, vacation days, investment opportunities, and more.  

Healthcare specifically can be a daunting task as unions and Taft-Hartley funds are charged with creating a benefits plan that works for diverse, multi-generational populations. Regardless of industry or membership status, union leaders must ensure that their members’ healthcare needs are met – from active employees to dependents and retirees – while providing organizational value that makes them stand out from the competition.  

What is direct healthcare?

Direct healthcare is a term used to describe the business-to-business-to-consumer model of healthcare. Put simply, it serves organizations and their people directly by offering a variety of healthcare services. The goal of direct healthcare is to provide high-value healthcare to organizations of all types through a combination of access points at work, in the community, and virtually.   

The direct healthcare model allows unions and Taft-Hartley funds to tighten up the laborious and complicated benefits plan design process by empowering leaders to speak directly to the provider organization about the types of care their people need and how best to reach them. 

At Premise Health, we believe that unions and Taft-Hartley funds can benefit greatly from partnering with a direct healthcare company. Here are our top three reasons why:

Increased access and convenience solve for large, dispersed workforces 

Direct healthcare offers greater access to care than traditional community providers. With appointments often available the same- or next-day, not weeks, these companies offer onsite, nearsite, and virtual healthcare solutions that can be tailored to the unique geographic reach of each population.    

  • Onsite wellness centers are built for ease of access in a central location like a training facility or a union hall. They provide members with the convenience of being able to walk down the hall for a check-up or follow-up visit and get back on the job quickly – no commute necessary.   
  • For workforces that are spread out across a city or region, nearsite wellness centers can be strategically located in and among the communities that members call home which provides convenient access to families and dependents as well.   
  • And for many of us, finding time to schedule an in-person appointment can be difficult. Virtual care is available during normal business hours at onsite and nearsite centers or around the clock, allowing members to access behavioral health, primary care, and occupational health resources 24/7.  

When members have access to convenient care when and where they need it, they’re more likely to schedule an appointment and build a relationship with their primary care provider.   

An example of this in action are the results Premise achieved alongside one of our Taft-Hartley partners, Midwest Operating Engineers (MOE). With the implementation of their first two wellness centers, MOE was able to expand access to care for 23,000 members, roughly 41% of their population. 

Comprehensive services built for diverse, multi-generational populations 

For unions and Taft-Hartley funds, one of the most complicated questions to answer is how to provide benefits for their total member population, from dependents to retirees.   

Direct healthcare providers are prepared to offer comprehensive care for people at any stage in life. That’s why they often deliver a full suite of integrated services for organizations to implement in their wellness centers. These services can include any combination of occupational health, primary care, behavioral health, pharmacy, musculoskeletal care (including chiropractic care and physical therapy), care management, care navigation, and wellness.

Premise offers more than 30 types of care across our access models. That means annual physicals, monthly prescription refills, and weekly chronic condition appointments can be taken care of by one coordinated provider team that’s dedicated to serving your members and your organization’s wellness center.   

 You can read more about Premise’s approach to personalized care with longtime partner Shaw Industries.  

Team-based care maximizes benefits and healthcare spend 

Working with a direct healthcare partner allows union leaders to take control of their healthcare spending by maximizing their benefits offerings. The traditional healthcare system is misaligned. The healthcare services that people need are spread out across a range of providers with no price transparency in place. This makes navigating the healthcare landscape difficult and costly.   

 By working with a direct healthcare provider, benefits leaders work side-by-side with the experts to customize their model of care. This means members get exactly what they need and nothing that they don’t. Premise takes a value-driven care approach to population health by focusing on controlling healthcare spend and reducing waste. For example, we:   

  • Leverage a team-based approach for greater care coordination across providers; reducing the likelihood of misdiagnosis, repeat visits, medication non-adherence, and a disjointed member experience.  
  • Place greater emphasis on primary care as a first resort; preventing or reducing more expensive long-term illness and chronic conditions through a proactive, data-driven approach.  
  • Integrate care navigation resources to provide concierge support; pointing people in the right direction toward quality, cost-effective providers and facilities that are in-network, easily accessible, and provide the best outcomes.  

Unions and Taft-Hartley funds are facing a big challenge when considering how to provide best-in-class care for their large, diverse membership populations. A one-size-fits all approach just won’t cut it. Direct healthcare providers like Premise are in the business of getting people healthy by increasing healthcare access, providing a comprehensive suite of services, and reducing cost with value-driven care. When working with a direct healthcare partner, unions and Taft-Hartley funds have the power to steer the healthcare conversation and find the right working parts to make their benefits plan tick.

Interested in starting a conversation about direct healthcare? Get in touch with us today or learn more about our work with the Taft-Hartley fund, Midwest Operating Engineers, here.

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