What your employees don’t know about their doctors can hurt them—and your organization’s bottom line.
Health care utilities often assign their employees focused on logistics: which providers are in network, on-site, or taking on new patients. Most employees choose their doctors based on anecdotal or superficial information, such as referrals from people they know, reviews on social media, or even the decor of the waiting room.
They’re in the dark about what really matters — how well a doctor is doing on the metrics that matter — and that translates into unnecessary costs, excessive downtime, lost productivity, and worse. health consequences. And the lack of transparency runs both ways, hiding from doctors how they compare to their own peers and preventing them from optimizing their performance.
But some employers give their workers greater visibility into the quality of their health care options so workers can make choices based on objective standards and hard outcomes. Offering tools to share data-driven, actionable insights about the fit, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of available providers enables employees to find high-performing physicians who fit the bill. their personal needs and wants.
The result is healthier employees, reduced absenteeism, and lower costs for patients and employers.
Finding a Provider’s Practice
Not all health care providers are created equal. Most doctors have good intentions, but some fail to keep up with the latest scientific research, charge excessive fees, or even recommend unnecessary procedures and treatments, for no reason. which increases costs and increases the risk of complications without improving care. Worse, it can be daunting, if not impossible, for individuals such as people of color, those who are LGBTQ+, and people who require translation to find care that is tailored to their specific needs. community.
Nearly 30% of doctors say nearly half of all medical care is unnecessary, and nearly a third of the $3 trillion Americans spend on health care each years are wasted on expenditures that do little to improve health.
If employees don’t have the insight to guide them to high-quality providers, they and their employers will pay the price. Receiving subpar or overpriced care can directly harm employees’ health and saddle them with excessive medical bills. It also hurts businesses, which lose an estimated $225.8 billion in productivity each year to employees who need medical leave.
Reduce Costs, Improve Results
Employees don’t have to choose doctors like they choose restaurants. Some organizations offer tools that help their workforce access independent, objective physician ratings based on science and based on real patient outcomes. Individuals should evaluate the doctors they choose based on three dimensions:
- CARING SHOULD or medically necessary based on current science?
- The healer effectivefollowing the latest clinical guidelines and achieving the best results?
- Care is provided by a reasonable cost compared to similar service providers?
Many patients diagnosed with arthritis of the knees are referred for knee arthroscopy despite strong evidence that this high-cost surgical procedure has no clear benefits. Considering the knee-arthroscopy rates of orthopedic surgeons gives individuals valuable insight into the appropriateness of the care they may receive from that provider.
Similarly, the rate of hardware removal after low back surgery is a way to assess the effectiveness of orthopedic surgeons. And an evaluation of the cost of care must account for price differences and differences in the use of expensive interventions.
Advanced statistical models can aggregate and transform independent data like this into scores and ratings that any employee can understand. And employees also need personalized physician recommendations that factor in a provider’s specialties and cultural fit. The results of this transparency are better care and lower costs for employees and businesses alike, reducing the need for long vacations and the possibility of developing complications or disabilities. And these tools also help doctors measure their own performance in the context of their peers so they can make any necessary adjustments.
Choose Care with Care
A global retailer’s health care tools and practices demonstrate the benefits of such high quality, results-based personalized care.
In 2013, the retail giant established its Centers of Excellence program to give employees access to top specialists, with treatment and travel covered in most cases. A colleague with severe neck pain who regularly saw a doctor referred him for surgery at a local clinic. But after the company sent him to a top spine specialist in another state, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which required different treatments. The patient avoided unnecessary surgery, and the company saved $30,000.
More than half of spine patients at the company’s Centers of Excellence avoid surgery, and those who need it spend 14% less time in the hospital. They are also 95% less likely to need readmission, and they return to work more than two weeks earlier on average than those who did not go through the Centers of Excellence.
Any employer can bring these advantages of quality care to their workforce. Florida’s Polk County Public Schools is using technology that supports personalized, outcomes-based care to help its 14,000 employees and their families easily find doctors who provide the best care. -care in the right context at the most reasonable price.
Knowledge is Power
Nothing is more important than health. All employees should be empowered to make high-stakes decisions about medical care that are based not only on whether doctors are getting their insurance but also, more importantly, on good, objective data about how they perform and what they choose to do (and not do).
Access to relevant health care information and insights allows employees to identify physicians who consistently deliver appropriate, effective, cost-effective care, and allows them to leverage that information to make smarter, more personalized health care choices than ever before. And that can lead to a healthier, happier, stronger workforce.
Every employee is also a patient. And every patient deserves to have the right information about their health care. Your employees can’t afford to leave their health to chance—and neither can your organization.
To learn how Embold Health’s physician measurement engine can improve employee outcomes and reduce overall costs, visit www.emboldhealth.com.