Employers continue to wrestle with how much and what kind of strategies are most effective in reining in medical expenses The appropriate blend of incentives, cost shifting and wellness programs can help employees to stay healthy and productive.
Hospital reimbursement is being aggressively targeted for savings by both government and commercial insurers. Even as hospital systems push for rate increases, they know that what insurers really want is to avoid the hospital altogether.
As health insurers brace for an anticipated rebound in utilization, they also need to closely monitor market perceptions that influence employers and policymakers. Rate hikes are now front-page news as insurers must disclose more information to the public and regulators justifying large rate increases.
To retain its share of medical revenues in an era of constrained growth, the pharmaceutical industry must pursue strategies that highlight the additional value a drug contributes to care. Emphasis will be on drugs that demonstrate cost effectiveness, such as avoiding additional doctor’s visits or minimizing adverse effects. For an in-depth discussion on pharma, read HRI's report, “Unleashing value: The changing landscape for industry".