With healthcare costs expected to increase 5 percent in the next year, providers are looking for more effective ways to deliver care, including telehealth. According to the Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey by the National Business Group on Health, 96 percent of employers are set to offer telehealth services.
Remote care has grown over the past few years and providers are taking advantage to bring patients and providers together, no matter the distance. The survey, which included responses from 148 large employers, outlined findings on how the healthcare industry is adopting new routes to accessing care.
“Employers are recognizing that traditional cost control techniques alone aren’t able to reduce costs to the point where they are no longer a drain on the bottom line,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “While employers continue to address costs through health care management and plan design efforts, they are also ramping up efforts to positively affect the supply side of the health care system by pursuing health care payment and delivery reform initiatives.”
The survey findings included:
- 56 percent of employers plan to offer telehealth for behavioral health services, double what last year's rate.
- 20 percent of employers have reported telehealth utilization, with employees utilization increasing 8 percent.
- 66 percent of companies will offer medical decision support and second opinion services in the next year, an increase from 47 percent last year.
- 36 percent of companies will offer high-touch concierge services in 2018, an increase from 28 percent last year.
“One of the most interesting findings from the survey is that employers are focused on enhancing the employee experience. For example, there is a big increase in the number of employers offering decision support, concierge services and tools to help employees navigate the health care system. The complexity of the system and proliferation of new entrants has made it difficult for employees to fully understand their benefit programs, treatment options and where to go for care,” said Marcotte.