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How to reduce unnecessary healthcare spend | Webinar


As the COVID-19 economic shutdown puts financial pressure on businesses, many are looking for ways to cut down on unnecessary spending. In our latest webinar, Flume Health founder and CEO Cedric Kovacs-Johnson spoke about how employers can reduce unnecessary healthcare costs without cutting benefits or shifting costs onto employees. Keep reading for a few of his suggestions, or watch the full webinar recording above.

Start asking for data on your healthcare spend

Employers are the ones who write the check for their company’s health plan, but many of them don’t even know what they’re paying for. Start asking your insurance carrier for basic data about your healthcare spend, so you can make informed decisions. If they won’t share this information, it may be time to look for a new insurance company.

Incorporate Direct Primary Care into your plan

Every year, Americans waste tons of money going to expensive facilities like urgent care or the emergency room for issues that could be addressed by a primary care physician. Take a look at your plan design. Does it emphasize tools like Direct Primary Care to help employees get proper care while staying out of emergency clinics? If not, ask your benefits advisor what it would look like to incorporate this into your next plan renewal.

Make sure your benefits advisor is ready and willing to bring solutions to the table

Your benefits advisor is an important resource for any healthcare-related decision your company makes. So if they’re constantly bringing you large premium increases and just calling it “the cost of doing business,” it may be time to find a new partner. We recommend that you make sure you’re getting at least one self-funded proposal every renewal season that helps you think outside the box.

If you have a self-funded health plan, consider challenging the traditional network model

Traditional insurance networks allow companies to hit the “easy button,” but at what cost? These networks often hide opaque prices and large amounts of waste. If you’re self-funded, but you’re not utilizing tools like direct contracting and reference-based-pricing to get more reasonable rates, you’re probably leaving money on the table.

If you have a self-funded health plan, make sure your plan has a strong Medical Management component

You want to make sure your employees are getting appropriate care at appropriate facilities. Unnecessary testing and treatment wastes money, and can actually be bad for a patient’s health. Furthermore, patients often end up getting care at expensive hospitals when they can have it done at a more affordable non-hospital facility with no loss of quality. A great example is MRIs, where the cost of the test in a hospital can be over twice the cost at a private practice. Good Medical Management is designed to make sure members are getting appropriate care, and are being steered toward appropriate facilities. At Flume Health, this typically accounts for around 25% of our clients’ total savings.