A new PricewaterhouseCoopers report, Behind the Numbers 2016, details healthcare spending in America. The report suggests spending is down, due, in part, to the 300% increase in high deductible plans since 2009. Since employees are increasingly sharing in healthcare costs with their employers, people are spending less and looking for ways to cost-effectively manage their own health. However, when looking for more affordable healthcare options, they’re really on their own and the tools available to them offer limited value.
We strongly believe in empowered consumers of healthcare, so we welcome this trend.
People have been in the dark far too long about their medical care, the cost of medical care, the quality of their doctors, and their multiple options for treating their ailments. But it’s a tough mountain to climb for them (the pun was very much intended).
Take for example,Douglas White, a physical therapist with a $2,000 deductible health plan, who personally needed a CT scan. Using information from his insurer, he called around for price quotes and was quoted $473 from a local imaging center. Considering this was the best deal he could find, he got the scan only to find out that he was billed $1,273 from a hospital he had no idea was connected to the imaging center. Douglas puts it best:
“If I get tripped up, the average consumer doesn’t have the slightest chance of effectively managing their health expenses.”
Being a consumer of healthcare is hard, if not impossible
The PwC report suggests that a large percentage of consumers are doing their best to do what Sherpaa does every day for our clients. But when you’re on your own and don’t have the experience and inside connections that Sherpaa is relentlessly building with insurers, hospitals, physicians, you can really get tripped up.
Real money is on the line for people
A simple mistake in utilizing healthcare could be the difference between going on a family vacation this year…or not. We believe in helping people live a good life. Not only taking care of their health, but also the health of their bank account.
The impact on business
PwC could not have said it better: “Employers must pursue strategies that not only strengthen their bottom line but better equip workers to make informed health decisions — or they will all pay a high cost in the long run.”