You need to provide your employees with the best possible healthcare benefits you can. Nowadays, with the Great Resignation going on, healthcare benefits are a premium commodity for retaining and attracting employees.
But that isn’t an easy task. Healthcare costs have been on the rise for years and that won’t end any time soon.
Employers with self-funded plans realize they have a unique opportunity to create a healthcare plan that’ll meet their employees’ individual needs, compared to the more rigid, traditional, fully insured plans. Yet they also take on the financial risks for providing these benefits.
For self-funded employers looking to control these costs without negatively impacting their benefits offerings, collaborative healthcare programs may be the answer to their problem.
These plans save money and time.
Benefits pros know how confusing and how expensive healthcare benefits can be, despite it being a big part of their job. And try as they might to explain it all to employees, it almost feels like an impossible task.
Dealing with all the different branches of healthcare benefits causes employees to not use them properly or at all – and that’s wasted employer dollars. But what if you could offer employees a plan that combined primary health care and mental health care all in one nice, neat benefit package?
That’s exactly what collaborative healthcare plans do. They integrate primary care and mental health care via one system.
What exactly is collaborative care?
It’s a team-based, interdisciplinary approach to addressing people’s health needs, including mental health.
5 components of collaborative care
Most experts agree the collaborative care model has five components to it:
- Patient-centered care team: They’re made up of primary care and mental health providers who treat patients using a shared plan that incorporates patient goals.
- Population-based care: A team treats a set group of patients, so no one falls through the cracks.
- Measurable treatments: Personal goals and clinical outcomes specific to the patient are measured on an ongoing basis using evidence-based tools.
- Evidence-based care: Treatments provided to patients are based on credible research specific to the condition being treated.
- Accountable care: Providers aren’t rewarded for the volume of care provided, but rather are held accountable for the quality of care they provide and clinical outcomes they achieve.
Taking care of the whole patient
The goal of the collaborative care model is to take care of the patient as a whole – physically and mentally.
People who suffer with mental illnesses often suffer with physical illnesses too, and vice versa. Plus, neither physical nor mental illnesses make for productive employees.
But when you have a team using evidenced-based care, managing the person’s health as a whole, illnesses can be prevented, or at the very least, prevented from getting worse. Because when conditions get worse, they require more care to treat it and the price tag for that care goes up. Higher price tags mean higher costs for employers.
And not just in healthcare costs. What if an employee gets so sick they can’t return to work? Then you must advertise for the job opening, interview candidates, vet potential candidates, probably offer a higher salary, and onboard the new hire. Plus, new employees always take time to get up to speed in their new job which means efficiency goes down.
So, the cost is not only healthcare dollars, but HR dollars and a huge investment in HR time.
Keeping tabs on chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc., and taking preventive measures helps keep employees healthier, happier and more productive. And it keeps your healthcare costs down.
Partner with a reliable vendor
But implementing and managing such a healthcare model takes time. That’s why employers need to find themselves a reliable partner. This way, they can do what they’re good at, run a business, and leave the program’s managing to the experts.
The good news is, there are vendors out there that streamline all of this by offering direct-to employer medical benefits. This type of collaborative care offers better health care for employees and better savings for employers. That’s why it’s becoming the go-to solution for self-insured companies in this new hybrid world.
Combining telemedicine, virtual and in-person primary care, mental health care and insurance navigation all in one system, saves employers money and benefits pros time because there’s only one vendor to deal with. It also builds loyalty because it gives employees what they desire – premium healthcare benefits. This in turn cuts down on recruiting costs because employees don’t want to leave – giving employers who have it a leg up on their competition.
Free snacks, game rooms, in-office massages and Fridays off during the summer months are all “nice-to-have” benefits. But they won’t impact employees’ lives like having collaborative healthcare benefits. The first group of benefits is superficial. Collaborative health care is life changing. It’s 360 degrees of care.
Providing employees with collaborative health care as a benefit shows employees their company cares about them and their well-being. And studies have shown that people, especially in today’s new hybrid world, want to work for companies that care about them, not just the bottom dollar.