By Evan Falchuk
I’ve just finished up speaking at the Conference Board’s Employee Health Care Conference in New York. I presented with Sandra Morris of Best Doctors client P&G, and we talked about how companies are keeping health care costs under control. They’re doing it in a surprising way.
Like a lot of American companies they’re bringing the know-how that made them successful to the problem of health care costs. P&G – a company that knows branding inside and out – used branding to get its employees to take an active interest in their health. They got employees to eat better, smoke less, exercise more, and make smart decisions about the medicines they buy. Once they had their employees engaged, they focused helping each and every one make sure they were getting the right medical care.
That’s where Best Doctors came in, and the results have been very much like what we see at other employers – changed diagnoses in more than 25% of cases, employee satisfaction levels over 95%, and direct impact on health care costs.
But the presentation wasn’t about Best Doctors, it was about how these results come from getting employees engaged in their care. Many companies do it well, and now, they want to do more, by directly involving themselves how care is delivered to their members. Some are setting up special networks of providers, special plan designs and other very targeted ways to make sure employees get better care.
Today, we talked about how getting the groups that manage employees’ care to actually work together, focused on the right diagnosis, that it’s possible to make an important impact on the quality – and cost – of care.
At a time when so many complain about the rising cost of health care, it’s refreshing to see old-fashioned American ingenuity making a difference.