By Andrew Webber
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?