Willis Survey: More Employers Turning to Engagement to Encourage Healthy Habits
When the Willis Health and Productivity Survey was released earlier this month, we learned that 61% of employers identify employees’ health habits as the number one challenge in controlling healthcare costs. We also learned that providing employees with tools and information to help them become better healthcare consumers is the leading strategy employers (64% of them) are using to address these rising costs.
At Change Healthcare, we couldn’t be happier to see these numbers, because we’ve long known that sustained behavior change at the individual level is key to helping employers (and health plans) control their healthcare costs. We also understand that when individuals are empowered with tools and information to shop for healthcare, they make better decisions – decisions that weigh quality and cost, and drive savings all-around.
This is why the Change Healthcare Engagement Platform is supported by a holistic and scientific approach to engagement that appreciates that most people have good intentions, and want to make decisions that are good for their health, but need help turning those intentions into the right behaviors. We help individuals act on their good intentions and close the intent-to-behavior gap by:
- Delivering personalized solutions that are relevant to the individual;
- Creating awareness of resources available to help;
- Educating on how to be a better healthcare consumer;
- Reaching out proactively with savings opportunities and health and wellness reminders; and
- Encouraging sustained engagement to transform passive healthcare users into proactive healthcare consumers.
What does this mean for individuals – your employees or plan members? Our approach provides a better understanding of their healthcare benefits (and how to use them); a means for making informed healthcare purchasing decisions; and support in managing higher out-of-pocket responsibility – and realizing savings.
For employers and health plans? Well, our personalized, proactive engagement approach can help you control your healthcare cost growth trend; successfully move to more cost-effective plan types, like CDHPs; optimize existing wellness programs and on-site clinics; and improve employee/member satisfaction and retention.
Want to learn more? Engage with us at www.changehealthcare.com.
The Undeniable Link Between Benefits Education and Employee Engagement
Unum, a long-time leader in the benefits industry, recently released its fifth annual Employee Education and Enrollment Survey. As in previous years, the results showed that when employees are happy with their benefits education, they are also more likely to be pleased with their benefits package, happy with their workplace and engaged in their work.
It’s this last point that I think is so important for employers to understand, especially when you consider the link between employee engagement and company performance. Quality benefits education can help drive employee engagement. Case in point, of the employees surveyed by UNUM who rated their benefits education as excellent/very good:
- 81% said they feel energized to ‘go the extra mile’ for their company;
- 77% would stay with their current employer even if offered the same pay/benefits elsewhere;
- 74% said it would take a lot for them to look for another employer; and
- 83% would recommend their company as a good employer for which to work.
Change Healthcare’s Healthcare University is unique in the marketplace and can help ensure your employees feel good about their benefits education. Featuring videos, quizzes, interactive games and gamification (things like points, badges and leaderboards), it makes benefits education fun, easy and impactful – and transforms passive healthcare users into active healthcare consumers.
I invite you to learn more about Healthcare University here, and then reach out to us. We stand ready to help you educate and engage your employees in their healthcare – maximizing the value of your benefits offering and supporting overall company success.
p.s. Read UNUM’s Employee Education and Enrollment Survey in its entirety here.
Proactive Engagement = Improved Population Health
In February, Aon Hewitt, along with the National Business Group on Health and The Futures Company, released the results of the annual “Consumer Health Mindset Study.” In it, we are reminded that the real price employers pay for health goes well beyond direct healthcare costs…that a workforce in better health performs at higher levels, because employees miss fewer days of work, are more productive when they are there, and enjoy stronger levels of engagement. A few of the study’s more noteworthy findings include:
Employees in weak cultures of health are more likely to say stress has a negative impact on work activities, versus those in strong health cultures (49% versus 25%). They are also more likely to be overweight or obese (67% versus 61%).
Employees in strong cultures of health are more likely to do the right things for their health (i.e. annual exams, regular exercise, etc.)
56% of consumers want access to tools that raise awareness of personal health status and related health risks. 46% want a personalized look at their healthcare usage and other personalized health information (up from 33% in 2012).
75% of consumers say that workplace wellness programs make them feel better about their company. 77% say that they help them get or stay healthy.
Statistics like these fuel Change Healthcare’s commitment to consumer engagement and cost transparency in healthcare. They’re what drive us to deliver solutions that encourage wellness, chronic care management, medication adherence and appropriate point-of-care utilization…solutions that help keep employees on the job, on task and engaged in their healthcare. It’s a meaningful and worthwhile endeavor, and we’re proud of the work we’re doing to help employers create and sustain strong cultures of health.
Want to learn more about what we do and how we do it? Visit us at www.changehealthcare.com. Also, for more about what employees like yours think about personal health, workplace health, wellness programs and health plan offerings, download Aon Hewitt’s “Consumer Health Mindset Study” here.
“The Birth of the Healthcare ‘Consumer’”
Last month, RBC Capital Markets released a research paper titled “The Birth of the Healthcare ‘Consumer’ and the Evolution of PopHealth.” In it, the monumental changes underway in the healthcare industry are likened to the changes experienced by the music industry over the last 10+ years. “Much in the way the digitization of content upended the music industry in the last decade, the ACA and new information tools focused on the healthcare consumer are disrupting the healthcare market,” the authors write.
I’d never really thought about it in this way before, but, yes, the parallels between the music industry’s technology-driven revolution – which forced a shift from a label-centric business model to a consumer-centric business model (one in which consumers enjoy tremendous freedom in choosing how, when and what they consume) – and the evolving healthcare industry are clear.
With the implementation of the ACA – and resulting growth in high-deductible health plans, as well as public and private exchanges – the consumer becomes the primary economic decision-maker in healthcare. What does this mean for plan sponsors? Many things, among them:
- A need for support in transitioning consumers to new health plan types, exchange-based or otherwise. High-deductible and defined-contribution health plans are experiencing record growth nationwide. To ensure consumers understand the dimensions on which they are choosing and how to maximize the value of their healthcare dollar, educate, educate, educate. (RBC’s research, in fact, calls education a critical component of the equation.)
- A need for more and better consumer-friendly tools to enable intelligent healthcare purchasing decisions. Unfortunately, the “if you build it, they will come” approach is unlikely to work. To successfully engage today’s healthcare consumer – and drive long-term behavior change – efforts must be proactive, personalized and easy to understand.
- An understanding that population health will play an increasingly important role in the future of healthcare. To maximize the value of investments made in this area, either in the form of additional wellness offerings or incentives to promote them, plan sponsors must engage consumers in a sustainable way.
- Whether you’re a health plan competing on an exchange or an employer moving lives to one, today’s healthcare consumer needs a fundamentally different set of tools and resources if we want their experience to be a positive one.
Yes, the consumer will soon be the core of the healthcare market and plan sponsors must adjust accordingly. As was the case with the music industry, it’s an evolve or die proposition. To that, Change Healthcare says “Evolve!”