While your company scrambles to comply with reform without being swallowed up by skyrocketing health costs, wouldn’t it be nice to know insurers are doing their part to keep your expenses down? Well, here are their plans.
Insurance carriers want to institute more incentives for providers to improve care quality. Insurers also want to create more risk-sharing arrangements and price transparency, according to a Milliman study of more than 60 insurers.
- 69% said they plan to utilize more quality incentive programs, often referred to as pay-for-performance programs. These programs provide financial bonuses to providers that meet or exceed performance/quality goals. The idea is that when provider quality goes up, fewer errors occur that require rework or follow-up visits — thus driving the cost of care down.
- 62% plan to create more price transparency for members. The idea behind this is that if price information about care is available to patients, they’ll make better decisions about the types of care they seek. This will hopefully create competition among providers and eventually lead to lower costs.
- 53% plan to reduce broker commissions. That’s one way to generate instant savings.
- 4% said they plan to reduce employee compensation — so don’t expect much in the way of savings to come from here.
Granted, most of this looks very encouraging. It appears insurers have a few avenues in which they might be able to find some cost savings.
However, you’ll want to take this info with a grain of salt. There’s no indication of how much (if any) savings gained through these initiatives (if they even work) will trickle down to plan sponsors.
Do you think your company will reap any of the rewards of these strategies, or is this just a money grab for insurers? Share you opinions in the Comments Box below.