By An­drew Web­ber

Modern Healthcare - - SPECIAL FEATURE -

The U.S. health­care in­dus­try is in the midst of a his­toric shift im­pact­ing pur­chasers and providers alike. Un­prece­dented eco­nomic con­di­tions have mag­ni­fied the need for qual­ity and cost sav­ings for em­ploy­ers to re­main com­pet­i­tive in a global econ­omy; the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act pro­vi­sions is un­der way; and we are soon ap­proach­ing the uncer­tainty of a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

All of this is oc­cur­ring while the trend of ris­ing health ben­e­fit costs con­tin­ues to spike. Ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of Modern Health­care’s Health­care Pur­chas­ing Power Sur­vey, to­tal health spend­ing in­creased an av­er­age of 8.2% from 2010 to 2011. In ad­di­tion, a re­cent re­port from Aon He­witt found that health ben­e­fit plan costs rose 7.5% to an av­er­age of $9,792 per em­ployee in 2011 and are pro­jected to grow an­other 7% to an av­er­age of $10,475 per em­ployee in 2012.

I think we can all agree that this is un­sus­tain­able. But what can we do to right this ship?

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