Improving Employee Health in Light of Covid-19
February 19, 2021
The ongoing health crisis has put employers the world over, under immense strain, and added to the existing challenges of managing the health care costs of employees. However, for employers who keep their business heads on while shopping for health care benefits, take advantage of digital health technologies and partner with hospitals and physicians, may be able to weather the storm better than others.
Below are three strategies that employers can use to negotiate the current healthcare situation, and help improve the health of their employees:
Try to manage healthcare benefits like you would any other purchase:
Most employers take considerable care before making major purchases, and thoroughly examine the full cost; healthcare benefits should be no different. Consuming more than $15 million every year in the U.S. per 1,000 employees, health benefits must be examined in detail. Talking to a healthcare benefit specialist can be hugely beneficial, and can help you get the best deals for you and your workforce.
Take advantage of technology:
With unprecedented opportunities for employers to take advantage of new, time saving technology that helps employees and find, manage and receive healthcare over the internet, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen both public and private insurers lift restrictions on telehealth. Couple that with the willingness of clinicians and patients to leverage digital technologies, and you’ve got a healthcare landscape that has dramatically altered. As an employer, work closely with your chosen private insurance company to keep telehealth as part of the package for your employees.
There are even online solutions for chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, and this technology, when used in conjunction with smartphone apps that record meals, exercise and medications, employees can better understand what impact their actions have upon their health.
So, as an employee, shop around and negotiate for digital health offerings and innovations, just as you would for any other business need.
Partner with local hospitals and physicians
There has never been a better time to partner with local hospitals and doctors; from lessons in how to improve operations at a manufacturing plant, to offering industry-specific expertise, employers can offer their own advice to hospitals and medical facilities to help them practice safer, more efficient and cost-effective care.
Employers’ actions must be decisive precisely because the future is so uncertain. By partnering with the health systems that provide care for their employees, establishing clear expectations for high quality and low-cost care, and leveraging telehealth and virtual care solutions to achieve these goals, businesses can help their employees better weather the ups and downs of Covid-19. In doing so, employers can build a more robust and affordable model for the good of their businesses, the economy, and the health of millions of Americans.