Delivering high quality, high-value care continues to be top of mind for many employers. More than half (57%) of employers surveyed by the Business Group will play an activist role in driving change in health care delivery. More employers will be adding centers of excellence, high-performance networks and accountable care organizations to their benefit plans and more than a quarter (27%) will expand centers of excellence offerings to additional clinical areas including musculoskeletal conditions and fertility and maternity programs.
Given the tremendous need for services and challenges with access, employers will offer more benefits and initiatives to support employees at all stages of their mental health and well-being journey, including extending initiatives globally to reach employees worldwide. Nearly half (48%) of employers surveyed will include anti-stigma campaigns and training for managers to help recognize mental health issues and assist employees accordingly. Employers will increasingly adopt other tactics, including bringing counselors on-site, offering virtual and digital counseling and reducing medication copays.
Interest in virtual solutions will continue to grow and expand as more employers see them significantly impacting health care in the future. Over half of the employers surveyed will offer more virtual solutions in 2020. It’s part of employers’ efforts to improve access and enhance the employee experience. In addition to mental health, virtual solutions for musculoskeletal, prenatal coaching, sleep and diabetes management. show the greatest potential for growth. The integration of virtual solutions into navigation and concierge services to simplify the employee experience is also a trending development over the next several years.
More high-cost treatments with million-dollar price tags will hit the market, and while employers welcome innovation, concern about the price tag of drug therapies in the pipeline and even more sticker shock in the near future grows. When it comes to specialty drug management, prior authorization under the medical plan is the most significant area of growth – six in ten employers plan to implement it in 2020.
Employers are giving more attention to primary care, which influences nearly 90% of overall cost and quality through specialty referrals, prescribing, testing, procedures and hospitalizations. Roughly half the employers surveyed will have at least one advanced primary care approach in place in 2020. These models move away from fee-for-service, encounter-based reimbursement to more comprehensive, patient-centered population health management.