I’d like to share a story about how cost and quality information can make a difference in the lives of your employees.
Before The Alliance introduced its Find a Doctor tool, we shared cost and quality information through our QualityCounts® program. I was at a benefit fair held by an employer in the Madison area when I shared the big differences in costs charged by different hospitals, clinics and imaging facilities for tests like CTs and MRI scans.
‘Thanks for Saving Me Money’
One year later, I was at another benefit fair at the same workplace when a young man approached me and said, “Thanks for
saving me money.”
This young man had been in a car accident in early January and suffered minor injuries, including an injury to his knee. After the
accident, the problem with his knee lingered and his doctor recommended an MRI.
Instead of just going to the nearest MRI or using the MRI site the doctor suggested, the young man remembered that I told him the
QualityCounts report could help people compare the cost of care.
He checked the report and learned he could save roughly $2,000 by going to a freestanding MRI facility, where he scheduled
The Power of Choice
The young man is enrolled in a high-deductible health plan through his employer. Since it was the start of the year, he had not yet met his $3,000 deductible. That meant all the savings from choosing a lower-cost MRI provider stayed right in his pocket.
The savings let the young man pay for repairs to his car so he could keep going to work. He told me he was grateful that his employer gave him a resource for checking the cost of care before he had a test or procedure.
Without it, he would never have known about cost differences and his ability to choose an option that cost less.
One Step Better
Today, The Alliance offers a better solution for checking the quality and cost of health care. Employees and family members who use The Alliance network to access health care can log in to the Find a Doctor website to compare costs.
Find a Doctor’s features include:
- Cost information for more than 70 procedures, which is updated weekly.
- Mobile-friendly access via smartphones and tablets, as well as computers.
- Quality information about birthing care, QualityPath hospitals and doctors, hospital safety scores and primary care practices.
- The ability to sort search results.
Go to The Alliance home page and click on Find a Doctor to get started.
Do Your Employees Know?
Unfortunately, too many employees and family members are still unaware that they have the ability to easily compare cost and quality.
I’d like to help our members change that by telling your employees and family members how to capture the savings that can result from basing decisions on quality and cost. Here’s how you can get started:
- Invite me to your next benefit fair or open enrollment event.
- Schedule a lunch and learn presentation on Find a Doctor or How to Be a Better Health Care Consumer.
- Use the Find a Doctor employer toolkit to share information with employees. The Alliance offers flyers, newsletter articles, videos and more.
- Add a link to Find a Doctor to your online benefits information or ask your third party administrator (TPA) to add the link. More information is offered in the employer toolkit.
I look forward to sharing Find a Doctor information with your workforce.
Paul has more than 12 years of experience in benefits and insurance, including positions with UMR and Wellpoint. Paul received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has held his Wisconsin insurance license since 2003.
Read blog posts by Paul.
Latest posts by Paul Roelke
- Taking Your Wellness Program from Good to Great - June 15, 2017
- This grant makes wellness easier for small employers - June 9, 2016
- A True Story of How Cost and Quality Information Made a Difference for One Employee - August 3, 2015