Big Bad Wolf Care
Management Monday: Managing the Future of Organizational Healthcare
It’s been abuzz for months and now the time has come for Obamacare to kick in. Despite difficulty to resolve conflict and the big bad wolf vibe of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), it may not be as bad as it’s been portrayed. Questions continue concerning the Affordable Care Act’s realistic affordability, but it is here and happening, so it’s time to be familiar with the details. According to Despite Obamacare, execs still expect to keep hiring (CBS News), 9 out of 10 businesses subject to the law already offer healthcare benefits and companies with under 50 employees will be exempt. Still, many businesses and leaders are scratching their heads. Or maybe they’ve made decisions in the face of this change, but aren’t confident with their actions. Below are some considerations.
Healthcare Reform Considerations:
In addition to seeking answers for workforce engagement, high turnover, and the bottom line, now employers are being asked to take responsibility for employee health. Is that such a bad thing? Medical Officer at NIOSH, Casey Choosewood has said “Work and health, because they’re such important components of our lives, cannot be separated.” This statement is rich in truth, but part of the ongoing concern for employers is the cost of health insurance associated with employees’ lifestyles. In other words, employees are increasingly living less healthy lifestyles. Risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol over-consumption are notably on the rise. Two thirds of the adult population is obese and nearly half of the U.S. population suffers from chronic health conditions. It is time to look at valued options which grow the organization not only size wise, but intellectually. A detailed and effective wellness program communicates value to the employee and the employee in turn mobilizes to be in line with the mission. Healthy organizations are the wave of the future.
Health Care Guidance
Any organizations not offering healthcare or considering taking it away should keep the importance of human capital and the bottom line in mind. Karen van Caulil, president of the Florida Health Care Coalition touched on this in Orlando Business Journal’s Future of Health Care event in May. “Be careful,” van Caulil said “[Health insurance] attracts the best employees for you, it retains the best employees. I am concerned about the businesses planning on terminating their coverage and what the fallout and unintended consequences may be.” Keep in mind, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that of the 28 million small businesses in the U.S., 96% won’t be subject to the rules. The remaining 4% should utilize information and tools provided by advisors, or through HealthCare.gov tools.
In-House Health Care
Since 1991, Rosen Hotels & Resorts has saved a whopping $220 million in health care costs. At The Future of Health Care event, Kenneth Aldridge Jr., director of Health Services for Rosen Medical Center, explained by hiring their own physicians, the organization has been able to develop a system of accountability with employees concerning their health as well as provide comprehensive coverage.
Accountable Care Organizations
According to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers, who come together voluntarily to give coordinated high quality care to their Medicare patients. “ACOs can include hospitals, specialists, post-acute providers and even private companies like Walgreens” says Jenny Gold of KaiserHealthNews.org. Further researching and joining an ACO is another action available to businesses interested in the best healthcare alternatives.
Drastic changes such as those currently taking place in the health care universe can seem scary but they aren’t as threatening as the “big bad wolf.” Organizations “building their houses of brick” and making wise choices for the benefit of all, will come out of this transition time stronger.