Cutting Costs in Healthcare While Keeping Employees Happy
Healthcare costs are staggering and the rise isn’t expected to stop. Becker’s Hospital Review recently reported several incredible statistics from CMS and IMS Health Holdings:
- National healthcare expenditures rose 5.3 percent in 2014 to $3 trillion. That’s $9,523 per person – or 17.5 percent of gross domestic product
- Annual spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. is estimated to rise 22 percent over the next five years
- Prescription drug costs will be $400 billion in 2020
Employer costs are “unsustainable and unacceptable”
Increases in costs to large employers are expected to remain steady at 5 or 6 percent, yet these numbers are still “both unsustainable and unacceptable,” according to Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of 425 large employers. Marcotte says costs are “still running at more than twice the rate of inflation and general wage increases.”
The National Business Group on Health’s 2017 Large Employers’ Health Plan Design Survey reveals that, to maintain control over increases, many employers expect to make changes to their plan designs, with focus on: optimizing how health care is accessed and delivered, including more Centers of Excellence options and optional selective network choices that focus on providing higher quality health care. The group expects the use of Centers of Excellence will grow from 79% this year to 85% in 2017.
Create your own center of excellence and improve access to care
Walmart made news when it created a network of top-rated healthcare facilities and providers across the country with exclusive and uniquely-bundled pricing arrangements for a few, high ticket procedures such as knee replacements, spine surgeries and even heart transplants. When Walmart associates utilize services from designated Centers of Excellence, they receive superior care without paying copays, deductibles or even travel expenses for themselves and a caregiver. Walmart has controlled waste, over-treatment, and misdiagnoses in health plans with their exclusive network.
Moving to high deductible plans might be necessary for your bottom line. Yet shifting employees to high deductibles sets them up for disappointment if they don’t have tools to shop for less expensive services. HealthQRS’ revolutionary Retail Medical Marketplace oﬀsets costs and transitions employees to higher deductible plans by allowing online shopping for healthcare services showing true pricing and discounts.
HealthQRS can help you create a Center of Excellence at a local level with not just a few, but hundreds of procedures to provide extensive beneﬁts yet reduce healthcare costs for your employees. We help you work with local healthcare providers, facilities and insurance companies to create your own network providing state-of-the-art health services to your employees while at the same time contractually keeping costs in line.
Our online Retail Medical Marketplace provides easy access for your employees to schedule healthcare services in the networks you provide. They simply type in services they need and instantly receive a list of procedures, locations and available dates. They also instantly see real pricing, not estimates. Employees can book appointments online and pay in full in advance or set up monthly installments. Our solution can take payments from Health Savings Accounts (HSA) credit or debit cards and we can track how much is available in each employee’s HSA. This helps your employees access healthcare services they need, when they need them, which in turn, helps them stay healthier overall.
 Tamara Rosin, “17 statistics on the current state of US healthcare spending, finances,” Becker’s Hospital Review, Sept.13 2016, http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/17-fascinating-statistics-on-the-current-state-of-us-healthcare-spending-finances.html
 Ed Emerman, “Large U.S. Employers Project Health Benefit Cost Increases to Hold Steady at 6% in 2017, National Business Group on Health Survey Finds,” National Business Group on Health, Aug. 9, 2016,
 3 Tom Emerick, “Walmart Expands Its Center of Excellence Program,” The Doctor Weighs In, Oct. 12, 2016, https://thedoctorweighsin.com/walmart-expands-its-center-of-excellence-program/