I was checking out this article in Vox Magazine, its about a family who was charged $25,000 for an MRI from her local hospital in California, where comparable procedures cost just over a thousand dollars. The article goes on to address the cost for the same procedure in other countries where patients would pay about 75% less. It should be immediately obvious how important healthcare cost comparison is.
I’m going to go ahead and apologize straight out of the gates. I’m sorry, but this article is going to be more salesy than what I normally write. Not because I’m desperately trying to sell you something and get you to buy my shiny toy, but because the subject matter deals very closely with what we do. But it’s an important topic. It’s healthcare management.(more…)
As a society we’ve become pretty comfortable with the notion of comparing costs for things that we’re going to buy. When is the last time that you bought a car, or even a book without shopping around on google? Probably almost never. Well healthcare should be no different. Comparing healthcare costs is a must. We have a number of articles (here and here) talking about why you should care about your healthcare cost and how to reduce it. But let’s use this article to narrow in on some cost comparison websites. I want you to be able really put this stuff into action.(more…)
Here at Trig we talk a lot about health literacy. We talk about how your employees (and just general) populations are not health literate and how important it is to our financial and personal wellbeing to improve on that. But what do we mean by healthcare literacy? And, what are some everyday examples of improving our literacy? We’ve got some answers for you, because in order to improve our collective literacy, we need to understand what it actually looks like. Some of the examples are so glaringly obvious that you may not have considered them to be practical issues.
One of the greatest tools available in the healthcare world is the Flex account, or FSA (Flexible Spending Account). Essentially a tax-free account for your health expenses, you can contribute money to it each year and use it to pay for most health expenses (again, tax free). It’s not one of those premium accounts that is reserved for the finest medical plans, available to only the wealthy. No, it’s available to anybody and everybody. And that’s exactly who should take advantage, because who likes paying taxes?(more…)
October is Health Literacy month. A lot of our articles focus around this topic on a daily basis anyways, but I thought it prudent to really hone in and explore it. I’m quite festive so I think it’s fitting. We can look at health literacy, what it means and why it matters all day long. And we probably will. But right now I think its important to consider its impact on any given business. Just about every single one of us is given health insurance by our respective companies. So, it makes sense to look at how we use that insurance and what it means for our company at the end of the day (or plan year).(more…)
As we’ve looked at in the past, a lot of companies have transitioned to a high deductible health plan. We know that it’s a smart move if you want improve employee healthcare and help to keep costs sustainable. But is it enough to let them figure it out for themselves? Is it enough to hand them the keys to your multi-million dollar plan and expect for them to arrive safely every time? You know where I’m going with this one – no, it’s not.(more…)
As we often discuss in this article series, the notion of healthcare education and outreach is very important to us and to our clients. We firmly believe that it is key to making an impact in your claims cost, and in getting an overall positive experience out of your care. But can we really expect to see an impact? You can. By targeting individual programs that solve specific issues that a company may be facing, and promoting the heck out of it, you can seriously make an impact. You see, people traditionally haven’t been in the driver’s seat of the claim management role. Until now. You can teach people how to ask the right questions at the right time, educate them on the process and give them your most effective tools and solutions.(more…)
Health Literacy. It’s an oft discussed topic and its one that we mention pretty much all the time. Health literacy has been linked directly with patients care outcomes, and, unsurprisingly, poor health literacy translates to poor treatment outcomes. With the mass shift in health plans towards high deductible plans, there’s a lot of pressure on the consumer to pay attention to what they’re doing. And key to this strategy is understanding how to be successful in a “consumerist” environment. Simply put, without understanding how to use the care system (and identify simple terms like deductible and copay), it becomes hard to get cost effective healthcare
Ok, time for some real talk. Over the last couple of years there’s been a lot of analysis, alterations and a reframing of the way that we look at healthcare from the employer perspective. Obamacare has forced us to step back and ask ourselves what level of benefits we should really be offering to employees. Do we go for the “Full Monty” and offer amazing benefits with the hopes that we can attract great people? Or do we pursue a more barebones approach and offer what Obamacare requires us to offer? What I’m getting at is this: What do we expect to get back from our investment? What is the “ROI” for offering benefits? And Most importantly, do we need ROI to justify having health insurance?