- Responses to the Business Group on Health’s annual survey of its large employer members suggest employers are tired of waiting for providers and plans to figure out how to reduce healthcare cost, according to HFMA’s Chad Mulvany.
- Only 4% of Business Group on Health’s survey respondents state that implementing an ACO is top of mind for them in 2021.
- According to 52% of respondents to the Business Group on Health’s survey, virtual primary care solutions, including virtual first primary care access health, are a priority for 2021.
In looking through the summary slides of the Business Group on Health’s annual survey of its large employer members (122 employers representing 9.2 million covered lives), there were three things that jumped out at me.
1. They’re growing tired of waiting for providers and plans to figure how to reduce healthcare cost: Maybe it’s the pandemic. Or it might be purchaser impatience that a decade of payment and delivery system reform hasn’t delivered more in terms of cost savings and trend bending. But if the organizations represented in the survey make good on the intent represented in their responses regarding their approach to delivery reform, it might be an inflection point in how purchasers approach their plan and provider partners. Here are some highlights:
- On the provider side, in 2019, 16%, not exactly a majority to start, of respondents stated they were - going to "drive delivery system change approach by pursuing the implementation of alternative payment and delivery models." That fell to 5% in the 2020 survey.
- On the plan side of the equation, in 2019, 41% reported they were going to defer to their partners by, “mak(ing) adjustments as the market changes and implement what my health plan(s) and PBM present as the latest developments.” While the drop off wasn’t as significant, in 2020, only 21% agreed with that statement.
- Instead, 24% (up from 5% last year) of employers report in the current survey that they are going to, "circumvent the delivery system by deploying virtual and digital care point solutions, navigation and concierge services."
Not surprisingly, virtual primary care solutions, including virtual first primary care access health plans (see slide below), seem to be tops on many employer’s priority list (52%, according to the survey, which is commented on in this press release). As discussed in my May 3 blog and my May 20 blog, if employers are actually serious about moving to virtual first, it will likely result in some disruption to existing referral patterns and revenue streams.