To address rising prices of private health insurance, employers are discussing several strategies, including narrow networks and a decreased reliance on intermediaries, said Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health.
Sutter Health, California’s Attorney General and several health plans are headed back to the drawing board in their search for a watchdog to oversee the health system’s compliance with the terms of its antitrust settlement.
Healthcare policy figured prominently in the vice presidential debate Wednesday evening between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Senator Kamala Harris.
“Healthcare costs continue to rise and have a disproportionate impact on the broader scope of American life and the economy, Mitchell said, and it is the responsibility of healthcare leaders, rather than purchasers to change the industry’s trajectory.
Amid disruption precipitated by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions shows employers are maintaining or accelerating their health benefit strategies for 2021 and 2022.
Lauren Vela, senior director of member value at the coalition, said it all comes down to who gains in the end. “There are so many folks making so much money on the existing system that the folks who really know how the system works don’t have an interest in changing it,” Vela said.
In an August survey of 15 major employers that collectively employ about 2.6 million people, 57% said they had decided to postpone their back-to-work plans because of recent increases in Covid-19 cases.
Sutter Health wanted to postpone paying its $575 Million settlement reached in a state antitrust case, as coronavirus cases rise.
This case could have nationwide implications if other states begin to examine and challenge local practices, according to Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of Pacific Business Group on Health, which initiated the lawsuit on behalf of employers and stakeholders.
Recognizing trends in health care that align with the COVID-19 pandemic and related racial disparities can improve the design of timely and effective strategies by employers to safely return employees to the workplace. Some of these efforts include less wait time for testing results, an improved focus on social determinants of health, and greater accessibility to care, said Lauren Vela, MBA, senior director at Pacific Business Group on Health.