September 12, 2022

PBGH Announces Five-Year Plan, Goals to Reduce and Reallocate Health Care Spending in Push for Higher Value Care for its Members

Frustrated by Uneven Quality and Out-of-Control Spending, the Large Employer Group’s Goals Include Establishing a New Public Purchaser Advisory Committee

The Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH), a nonprofit coalition of nearly 40 large, private employers and public health care purchasers committed to transforming health care nationwide, today announced a series of  strategic goals that will guide the organization over the next five years. Additionally, the organization is launching a new public purchaser advisory committee to help better illuminate and address the unique needs of public purchasers, while enhancing its long-standing work aligning public and private efforts to reform health care payment.

With the U.S. lagging well behind all other comparable nations in care quality, and total U.S. health care spending now topping $4.1 trillion a year, or nearly 20% of GDP, PBGH members are committed to driving improvements in health outcomes while constraining soaring costs.

“Our new goals reflect the need and interest of large public and private purchasers to adopt modern ideas and novel partnerships so that savings can be spent in areas that foster better health,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of PBGH. “We’re very hopeful about the improvements to health care PBGH members, who represent a strategic group of leaders, can collectively make on behalf of American workers and families.”

Specifically, PBGH’s newly announced goals are to address:

  • Affordability by redirecting existing health care spend to high-quality, equitable and evidence-based care while holding total cost flat
  • Health by redirecting purchasing to support whole-person health (the full spectrum of medical, behavioral, socioeconomic and needs) and
    create accountability for health and well-being outcomes
  • Equity by eliminating disparities in care delivery and in health outcomes.

Employers provide health benefits for about half of all Americans. However, a recent survey found that nearly 90% of executives at 300 of the country’s largest employers believe the cost of providing health benefits will become unsustainable within five-to-10 years.

“If these goals are achieved, a natural outgrowth will be meaningful improvements in health outcomes, health care affordability and health equity,” Mitchell added.

Further Integration of Public Purchasers

With alignment among public and private purchasers essential to establishing the critical mass required to compel change, PBGH also announced the creation of a new ‘Public Purchaser Advisory Committee’. PBGH has long been unique among national business health coalitions in that its membership includes both private sector and public purchasers. The new committee will elevate the needs of public members and help further integrate the work of public and private purchasers.

The chair of the new committee will be Don Moulds, Ph.D., chief health director of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). Founding members include Abbie Yant, executive director of the San Francisco Health Service System, Sue Birch, RN, director of Washington State Health Care Authority and Alice Chen, M.D., Covered California’s chief medical officer.

Public and private purchaser engagement has been instrumental in the success of PBGH’s Advanced Primary Care Practice Transformation Initiative, which has strengthened investment in primary care to improve wellness, prevention and early intervention. Going forward, close collaboration between purchasers will be similarly vital to support next-generation payment reforms.