Guest Blog with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Workforce Health
By Matt Rehmann, Executive Director Business Development, Employer Services at Froedtert Health
While insurance costs have increased faster than inflation rates, businesses look to bend the trend by changing their focus to the health and wellness of covered lives rather than cutting benefits or passing costs to employees. According to human resources representatives from two school districts and a benefits provider who can attest to this recent trend, there are five important steps to follow when bringing health care solutions to employees:
1. Identify what is important to your organization before seeking a solution.
Creating decision criteria ahead of time will help evaluate potential solutions that align with your goals, strategies and values. For example, employers may place a premium on convenient access to care, while others may focus more on efficiency or financial impact.
Sarah Zelazoski, executive director of human capital at the Mequon-Thiensville School District, described her experience of how a strong plan, persistence in earning the support of the school board and an opportune location contributed to a successful on-site clinic implementation to support current and future staff, which is a plan that could work at organizations of all sizes.
2. Think creatively about the options.
Workplace health solutions are not “one size fits all.” You may start by thinking you need to build something new, but when thinking creatively, you may learn that an existing space or a shared clinic could accomplish the goal.
Janet Lucas-Taylor, health and benefits consultant at Aon, specializes in advising her clients on clinic solutions and the value of unique solutions to health care challenges. “A lot can be done in an existing space,” Lucas-Taylor said.
Direct contracting for retail clinic visits, such as FastCare® provided by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, is another creative solution for some employers.
3. Consider “value of investment.”
The full value of workplace health solutions will be realized when the scope is greater than just a financial return. As an employer, you should consider the value to your employees in time saved, convenience of location and hours, the expert care available and improved health. These could improve your workforce in ways you were not anticipating. Favorable financial results can also be expected in direct health cost avoidance.
4. Work closely with your insurance consultant or broker.
Your health plan consultant works to stay objective in your evaluation and can provide options and guidance for you to consider. Understanding what is important to you should be at the core of your relationship. Experienced consultants will work with your criteria and in your best interest when helping you find the right solution.
“You don’t need to be a big employer to make this work,” Lucas-Taylor said. “Ensuring you have leadership support to solve specific issues, then communicating the opportunity throughout your organization will help lead to success in bringing health care on-site.”
5. Partner with a provider that has matching values.
When selecting a provider to bring health care to your organization, confirm that your new partner will continue to match your selection criteria throughout the relationship. Share your goals and concerns with the new partner and seek metrics for the relationship that reinforce what you set out to do together.
Mark Kapocius, director of human resources and general counsel at the School District of Greenfield, says his district decided to bring both an on-site clinic and near-site health care options to employees and their families, provided by the Froedtert & MCW health network. “We believe that through this partnership, we are building a sustainable health care model that will improve the quality of life for employees and attract and retain key staff, while stabilizing costs for all stakeholders,” Kapocius said.
Executive Director Business Development, Employer Services at Froedtert Health