Savvy self-insured employers understand that effective care management can help keep their costs down. Care coordinators can guide participants to make cost-effective decisions that will also contribute to positive health outcomes.
But not every plan participant will take advantage of the care management available to them—and those who don’t may make costlier healthcare decisions, such as visiting the ER over the weekend when a telehealth call or a doctor visit on Monday would have been sufficient.
The healthcare spending that is used under care management is more likely to be cost-effective spending. By increasing the percentage of your total healthcare spend that is under care management, you’re likely to decrease your total spend.
How to Increase Percentage of Spend Managed
There are several ways to maximize cost efficiency by applying care management strategies to greater percentages of your healthcare spend. Some of the most common are:
Education. Employees must understand that care management is available to them, and what that means. If they are accustomed to an old-school approach to care management, which didn’t allow for family support or relied on archaic technologies, take time to show them how modern care management works and how it can benefit them.
Technology integration. Your employees and their families are accustomed to paying bills, shopping and socializing from their mobile devices. And they’ll be more likely to engage with a care management solution if it’s as easy and intuitive as the other apps they use daily.
Always-on access. Healthcare needs don’t always occur between 9 and 5 on weekdays. To offer healthcare assistance that is truly valuable, your care management solution must be available when members need it. Ideally, the use of continuous data analytics provides ongoing insights that ensure participants receive the right care, at the right cost, at the right time.
Provider support. The stress of illness or injury can sometimes make it difficult for plan participants and their family members to be clearheaded enough to ask the right questions or remember the provider’s instructions. That’s why it can be helpful for care management teams to be available for both providers and patients to contact at any time, and they can explain or remind patients of their doctor’s instructions.
Growing Our Share
A recent third-party analysis revealed that over a three-year period, Narus Health—which Lucent Health acquired in 2019—managed an average of 27.4% of medical spend for members with core conditions. In comparison, a major competing third-party administrator managed only 0.2% of medical spend. And Narus Health figures are trending upward: The percentage of spend managed over the three-year study period increased from 21% in 2018 to 27% in 2020. As Narus Health continues to engage eligible employees in critical care management and other programs, it continues to manage a greater percentage of employers’ healthcare spend.
Lucent Health’s recent independent audit reveals that successfully engaging members and walking with them through their healthcare journey helps avert or mitigate health crises, resulting in significant savings for both members and employers. Learn more in our e-book, “Top-Notch Care Management Is Crucial for Managing Healthcare Costs.”