In past blog articles, we talked about how to find the right integrated health care program and implementing an integrated health care model at your company. As with any initiative, the shift to an integrated health care model tends to be a work in progress for a period after launch.
Reporting Program Outcomes
After putting an integrated benefits program in place, employers will want to review the results of program implementation, which begins with reporting on the various health and financial outcomes they’re seeing as a result of the change. Per research conducted by SourceMedia Research/Employee Benefits News in 2015, this step, which typically involves benefits administration, human resources and finance, proves to be a challenge for 68 percent of respondents.
Some comments from respondents included:
- “The wealth of metrics to choose from is nearly infinite; selecting a few without limiting too much in scope is a challenge.”
- “A diverse employee population requires a variety of options; evaluation may not be ‘apples to apples.'”
Tracking health care outcomes isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Goals and objectives must be taken into account as employers decide what metrics make the most sense to report on.
Survey results showed mixed responses as to which are the most effective resource when reporting outcomes. Thirty-eight percent used a benefits consultant while the same percentage used a benefits broker or advisor. One-third looked to their insurance carrier, 30 percent to a health and wellness consultant and 20 percent to a business consultant.
Evaluating and Modifying Programs
While reviewing program outcomes over time, employers should keep in mind that health care for employees isn’t a “set-it-and-forget-it” proposition. Programs need to be evaluated on a regular basis and modified if they aren’t meeting organizational objectives.
This process, which 72 percent of employers described as “somewhat or very challenging,” can be time-consuming and difficult to set up.
Establishing Success Metrics
Since integrated health care is a component of an employer’s overall population health program, ideally the population health program will have defined metrics that are tracked over time to gauge success — a task deemed challenging by roughly 80 percent of respondents. Indeed, employers may encounter several obstacles during this stage, including:
- Absence of clear industry norms and benchmarks
- Reaching consensus on the definition of success and ROI among key stakeholders
- Lack of staff time to create and track metrics
Despite these challenges, however, it’s crucial that employers continue to examine their integrated health care programs over time to make sure they’re meeting the needs of both the organization and its employees.
SourceMedia Research/Employee Benefits News in 2015
Jason Kinzy is a marketing manager at Anthem, Inc. and is responsible for the promotion of Anthem’s specialty business (dental, vision, voluntary, life and disability plans) to members, employers and brokers. He has 20 years of health care marketing communications experience.