The rising frustration with out-of-control healthcare costs

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Dave Ratcliffe and Lori Block spoke recently to Managed Healthcare Executive magazine about the desperation employers and employees feel over higher-than-ever, employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. Employers feel they’re not getting good value for what they spend. And employees see any salary gains wiped out by rising healthcare contributions, leading to growing job dissatisfaction.

“[B]ig changes are imperative—the status quo is unacceptable,” said Ratcliffe, a principal in the Health & Productivity Consulting practice at Buck.

Block, a principal and industry insights leader at Buck, identified five key areas of employer frustration, including: vendor market consolidation (leading to lack of competition); preference for performing more services at lower quality; volatile risk exposure for self-insured plans; lack of transparency in prescription drug pricing; and a general reluctance on the part of the system to adopt necessary changes.

The article goes on to suggest seven actions employers can take to mitigate costs. At Buck, we believe that addressing the challenge of rising healthcare costs is an important part of defining the new social contract.


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