Good article for those interested in Healthcare and healthcare related issues, please review this article on the increase of healthcare costs for employers trying to manage the ever rising prices
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The article, “Employers Manage to Cap Increase in Health Care Costs at 2.6%” by Lee Barney states,
“The 2017 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans found that employers have been able to contain the rise in health care costs this year to 2.6%, essentially on par with the 2.4% increase in 2016.
Between 2013 and 2017, the rise in health care costs has averaged 3.3%, and between 2007 and 2013, it averaged 6.2%, Mercer says.
Mercer notes that employers were able to contain these costs without enrolling more employees into high-deductible plans. They have achieved this by offering such things as a “transparency tool,” an online resource to help people compare the prices of different healthcare providers.
Telemedicine services, whereby someone can speak with a health care professional via the telephone, televideo or web portal, average $50 a visit, compared to the $125 a typical office visit costs, Mercer says. In 2017, 71% of employers with 500 or more employees offered some form of telemedicine to their employee base, up considerably from 59% in 2016.
Another method by which employers have been able to contain costs for drugs is by steering employees to a specialty pharmacy that can instruct them on how to administer the drugs at home rather than in a hospital or doctor’s office. Specialty pharmacies also use what is known as “step therapy,” whereby a patient is started off on a less expensive drug.”
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