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Healthcare Reform Mythbusting

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 9, 2012

Having achieved demonstrable success with its own employees over three years, Fairfield is beginning to market its own internal health plan model to other self-insurers in the county.

Ubbing  is careful to take a measured approach to the idea, and to stay nimble enough to switch gears if that plan fails to yield the expected results. For that reason, she says Fairfield won't bear risk under such deals.

"That's the kind of model, working with our physicians, that we're offering to other employers," she says. "I'm hopeful that is the right decision. We're not the size to do an ACO."

She's hoping other employers will see the value created when certain expectations for health are placed on employees, and that tiered premiums based on health risk factors will encourage patient compliance.

"What it will take on our part is to price the model and teach them how to do it." The program starts with a health screening.

"We have done it for two years officially following one year for practice," she says. "It's voluntary, but if you don't participate, you will pay a higher premium."  Lowest premiums, naturally, go to employees who pass all screens.

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