NBGH Reports Changes in Healthcare Strategy for Large Employers in 2020

In a survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, large employers shared their views on the rapidly changing healthcare environment. The survey revealed that more employers now view their healthcare approach as an integral part of their workforce strategy, a change from previous years.

Another shift is that more employers are considering advanced primary care strategies, drawn by the value they offer. Primary care influences nearly 90 percent of overall cost and quality through referrals, prescriptions, testing, procedures, and hospitalizations, making its impact significant. Its considerable influence is leading employers to shift to value-based advanced primary care offerings, instead of relying on fee-for-service models.

In 2019, 34 percent of large organizations implemented onsite or nearsite wellness centers, while 18 percent of large employers reported that they are considering this step for 2021 and 2022.

Additional survey findings further demonstrate more companies are taking proactive steps to offer their employees innovative solutions and a higher healthcare value.

Rising Costs

Over the last decade, average premium contributions for family coverage paid by large employers on behalf of workers increased 51 percent, from $10,008 in 2008 to $15,159 in 2018. Meanwhile, the growth in workers’ out-of-pocket costs has outpaced their wages. As these costs have risen without a corresponding improvement in outcomes or experience, employers and workers have grown increasingly frustrated.

Virtual solutions

For 2020, 63 percent of employers believe virtual healthcare solutions will have a very significant or significant impact in the future. In 2019, employers’ virtual offerings included acute problems, mental health, weight management, and diabetes management. Moving into 2020, 51 percent of employers plan on offering more virtual solutions, with musculoskeletal and mental health topping the list of priorities for 2021-2022.

Changing Perceptions

Increasingly, employers are working with partners to develop innovative solutions and address emerging challenges. This rise in collaboration is likely due to growing frustration at the slow rate of change in the delivery of healthcare. Employers are starting to see their role as actively accelerating change, and collaborations are typically the most efficient way to create those changes.