July 17, 2012
Stacy Van Alstyne
Value-Based Health Care White Paper Serves as a Framework For Culture of Health
VBHC Popular with Organizations to Manage Costs after Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act
Brookfield, Wisconsin—In a recent survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, employers say they are more likely to implement value-based health care (VBHC) strategies after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. In an effort to assist multiemployer and public employer health plans in successfully implementing VBHC strategies in the workplace the Foundation has released its Value-Based Health Care White Paper. The paper identifies existing VBHC practices used by multiemployer and public employee health plans and provides a framework for building cultures of health.
“The basic premise behind value-based health care is to create a culture of health that enables plan participants to stay well, helps sick people improve and provides the best care for each dollar spent,” said Foundation CEO Michael Wilson.
Value-based health care emphasizes the importance of organizations partnering with plan participants to create a culture of health in the workplace to manage costs and improve the quality of care. VBHC strives to remove barriers to care and align both financial and non-financial incentives and rewards for living healthy and productive lifestyles, by using high-value prevention, health enhancement and health care services.
“Although value-based health care is beginning to find wider acceptance, overall participation remains low,” said Wilson. “Our data shows an increase of employers using value-based health care strategies, from 16 to 37 percent between 2010 and 2011, so there is movement in the right direction.”
According to the International Foundation’s white paper, multiemployer and public employee plans engaged in VBHC activities are finding early successes in all areas of the initiative. This includes participation in health fairs, working with effective providers, and encouraging participants to take prescribed medications. Plans that have been engaged in VBHC initiatives over several years are finding evidence that employees’ health improves and workers take fewer sick days.
“We’re finding that organizations are beginning to get better data on their participants’ health care issues ranging from the type of conditions that necessitated a visit to the doctor to whether participants are opting for generic drugs to fill their prescriptions,” said Paul Hackleman, International Foundation Health Care and Public Employer Analyst. “With this data, organizations are able to make educated value based decisions about providers and wellness initiatives.”
The white paper identifies several items that help plans succeed and several areas that can challenge a plan’s success.
A clear vision and buy-in from trustees and advisors
Access to reliable data
Partnerships with engaged vendors
A communication strategy targeted to all workers
Finding effective communication strategies
Educating workers about their health and health care
Indentifying good vendors
Finding reliable data on provider quality
“Regardless of how VBHC is initiated within organizations, it is the single best strategy to achieve healthy, energetic, and high-performing employees while managing health care costs,” said Wilson.
The whitepaper is part of an ongoing initiative to provide practical ways for multiemployer and public employer plans to integrate VBHC strategies. The initiative is funded in part by a grant from Pfizer Inc. For more information, visit www.ifebp.org/vbhc.
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a member-driven organization with five decades of experience as a leading objective source of employee benefits, compensation and financial literacy education and information within the American and Canadian workplace. The Foundation’s expertise is industry wide; and it offers resources that include Foundation staff, training, conferences and research on topics critical to assisting its 35,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members respond to trends affecting the well-being of more than 25 million lives in North America. For additional information, visit www.ifebp.org.
Pfizer applies its science and global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. Consistent with Pfizer’s responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer also collaborates with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on the company. For additional information, visit www.pfizer.com.