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April 2, 2021

How healthcare point solutions are helping employers earn points with their employees

Wondering what top employers are offering in their employer-sponsored health benefits packages these days? Viewing their employees as critical to their organization's success, they're increasingly adding vendor services—called point solutions—to comprehensively support their health and well-being. These point solutions may address specific health conditions, promote healthy lifestyle changes, ease access to health services, or consist of other healthcare programs, but they're all designed to fill current gaps in the healthcare system.

If you're a benefits director or HR professional, or a consultant working to help your clients create well-rounded healthcare packages, you may be interested in what's out there. Here are a few of the innovative point solutions that leading U.S. employers are incorporating in their offerings.  

Point solutions that top employers are pulling into their health benefits offerings

Virtual healthcare

The healthcare system is increasingly turning to technology to more conveniently and personally deliver quality care and support to their patients. Though virtual healthcare will never replace traditional health systems, it delivers a primary healthcare model of single, coordinated, and trustworthy services. Its scope and accessibility are already helping more people obtain the personalized care and support they need while easing the burden on already-overtaxed systems.1

Virtual healthcare options were already expanding before COVID-19, but the pandemic escalated the demand for them. As business goes back to normal, this demand will likely remain—spurring healthcare providers to continuously enhance their capabilities and personalize this mode of support.

Fertility support

As organizations consider new ways to support their employees, they're more commonly offering fertility benefits. The average cost for one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is $12,000, which doesn't include the cost of medications potentially as high as $3,000 per cycle.2 Due to this substantial expense, many health payers don't include fertility services in their benefits offering—giving employers that do a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining top talent.3

Cancer support

The extraordinary pace of oncologic innovation through ongoing cancer research makes it very difficult for oncologists to keep up with rapidly evolving practices, especially if they're managing many types of cancer every day. With benefits programs specifically focused on delivering support to their employees with cancer, organizations can help these employees achieve better outcomes while saving costs. These costs may be substantial considering that cancer expenses are one of the top three medical expense categories for many employers.4

Offering remote cancer support in benefits packages can help employees and their local doctors access the latest cancer research and discoveries, even if they don't live near a cancer center with specialists dedicated to discovering the most-innovative treatments. By bringing this knowledge to more people across geographic barriers, organizations can contribute to closing the cancer knowledge gap—helping their employees get on the right course of treatment early on for the best chance of a cure, while addressing health disparities and lowering costs throughout the country.

Mental health 

Up to one-third of U.S. employees report mental health effects and 40% feel hopeless, burned out, or exhausted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but social distancing has hindered their ability to access mental health services. These barriers exist in other ways too—a shortage of mental healthcare providers, high costs, stigma, and unique issues for people of color such as finding therapists who understand the specific problems they face all potentially prevent people from improving their mental health.

However, leading employers are realizing that they can help remove the barriers. Proactively prioritizing their employees' mental health, they're offering virtual mental health options, employee assistance programs (EAPs) that support emotional and behavioral well-being, and text-based therapy apps.5

 

The potentially large impact of just one healthcare solution 

Healthcare point solutions can help employers save money on healthcare costs. Though cancer affects only about 1% of the general population, it's often responsible for 12% to 15% of a company's overall healthcare costs.6 So even if your organization only has a few employees facing a cancer diagnosis, the impact of the costs of treatment can be staggering. To help employees navigate an unwanted cancer journey while feeling supported along the way, many employers choose to provide a cancer-focused benefit that helps ensure their employees receive the right treatment the first time, potentially reducing total costs of care.

 

How point solutions create benefits that everyone can benefit from

Especially with the pandemic disrupting healthcare utilization and adding stress to employees' lives, top employers are focusing on adding resources to support virtual healthcare, specific conditions, and mental and behavioral health, with innovative programs that engage employees whether they're at worksites or home. If they have cancer, a point solution like AccessHope's support services can help optimize their treatment plan for better value, experiences, and outcomes while reducing overall healthcare costs for your company.

 

Do you use real employee data to choose the right point solutions for your company?

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Last updated March 31, 2021
 
References
 
1 Baxter A. How to make virtual healthcare personal. Digital Transformation. March 29, 2021. https://www.healthexec.com/topics/digital-transformation/how-make-virtual-healthcare-personal. Accessed March 31, 2021.
2 Gurevich R. How much does IVF really cost? Verywell Family Fertility Challenges Blog. https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-much-does-ivf-cost-1960212. Published March 5, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2021.
3 Why consider a fertility program? Collective Health Web site. https://collectivehealth.com/insights/why-consider-a-fertility-program. Accessed March 31, 2021. 
4 Robinson J. Top 11 medical expenses. Compass by WebMD Web site. November 13, 2019. https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/ss/slideshow-top-11-medical-expenses. Accessed March 31, 2021.
5 Severino M. What mental healthcare benefits can employers offer? First Stop Health Blog. Published June 11, 2020. Accessed March 31, 2021.
6 Shockney L. Paying attention to cancer pays off for your employees. Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site. https://www.johnshopkinssolutions.com/paying-attention-cancer-pays-off-employees/#:~:text=Cancer%20treatment%20alone%20accounts%20for,spent%20on%20direct%20medical%20costs. Accessed October 30, 2020.

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