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The Unseen Perks of High-Performance Networks

A key way to control health benefit costs is to review plans that offer high-performance networks. Insurers are designing plans with select networks of high-quality doctors and hospitals. These networks promote better care and reduce costs.

You may be looking at plans that have a broad network of hospitals and doctors to increase your employees’ choices and to reduce disruptions.

But, did you know?

Recent research shows that, when employees pick their own health benefits, up to 80% are willing to trade broad choices for lower out-of-pocket costs.

And, high-performance network plans may cost 35% less than broad-network plans.

What is a high-performance network?

The best networks aim for:

  • Good care outcomes
  • Better patient experiences
  • Lower costs

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) collects data and issues “report cards” on health plans. More than 90% of companies use the reports to rate care and service. The reports make it possible for you to compare quality on an “apples-to-apples” basis.

 

There are other benefits, in addition to quality and cost:

  • Create competition: These plans offer doctors and hospitals stronger incentives to improve.
  • Coordinate better care: A smaller network can share clinical data and coordinate care more easily. Both help to reduce costs.
  • Improve access: Some networks may offer members’ special access or services.
  • Promote quality: A health plan with a smaller network can focus more easily on ongoing quality issues.

 

Questions to ask:

  • Where are the doctors and hospitals? Will it be easy for your employee to get to them?
  • Are the doctors accepting new patients?
  • What will the out-of-pocket costs be for your employees?

The goal of a high-performance network is to expand quality of care, improve experience, and reduce costs. Plans that meets these aims give your employees high-quality care when they use a network doctor or hospital.

Sources:

http://healthcare.mckinsey.com – Maximizing value in high-performance networks.

by David Knott, Tom Latkovic, David Nuzum, Jessica Ogden, and Shubham Singhal

http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/reports/high-performance-health-networks – High-performance health networks: A methodical approach creates a right to win.

by Joyjit Saha Choudhury, Jayanth Godla, Jennifer Yaggy, John Andrewes