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Collaborative Saves Employers $11M in Healthcare Costs Over 3 Years

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2011

Three years ago the Kansas City Collaborative began as a pilot program to help employers work with their health insurers to improve the health of their employees. Using value-based benefit design, employers identified health benefits and wellness programs with track records of delivering high quality, evidence-based, cost-effective care.

KC2, as it is known locally, recruited 15 employers with 400,000 employees to participate, including H&R Black, Sprint, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the City of Kansas City. The collaborative is led by the Mid-American Coalition on Health Care. The effort  is supported by the National Business Coalition on Health and Pfizer Inc.

The pilot program is winding down and so far KC2 companies have saved about $11 million in direct healthcare costs, according to the reports from nine employers representing 56,000 workers. The remaining employers will report their data at a later date.

Steps taken by employers to achieve the savings include:
  • 60% offered preventive care treatments that required no copayments
  • 60% waived copays for medication for employees enrolled in chronic disease management programs offered by their health plans
  • 50% charged lower employee insurance premiums for employees who completed a health risk assessment, received an annual physical, stopped smoking, or reduced their body weight by 5%
  • 30% implemented new benefit programs to help employees quit smoking
  • 100% of the employers added healthy cafeteria and vending machine options
  • 89% offered onsite fitness facilities or other options to help employees increase their level of physical activity
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