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Employees Wrongly Think 'You Get What You Pay For' in Health Care
Date:11/10/2008

Findings of employee focus groups fly in the face of value-based benefits approach

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The premise of value-based benefit design programs for health care - higher quality care at a lower cost - is counterintuitive to employees' perception of the consumer marketplace. Employees perceive higher quality health care equals higher cost. This is one of the findings of employee focus group research announced today by the Midwest Business Group on Health, a non-profit coalition of almost 100 large, self-insured employers. Presented at the National Business Coalition on Health's annual conference in Washington, the results pose clear challenges for employers to educate and communicate the benefits of a value-based approach to health care.

"What this tells us is that employers need to better educate employees about differences in quality health care and prepare employees to make quality choices and improve their health," said Larry Boress, president and CEO of MBGH. "Great care must be taken in communicating value-based benefits programs or employers will not only find a lack of participation, but also mistrust in their intentions to improve the health of their employees."

For the last two years, MBGH has conducted annual surveys of employers to gauge their readiness to adopt value-based benefit design strategies, use data for decision-making, change employee behaviors using incentives, measure productivity and create a culture of health. In mid-2008, nine focus groups of more than 50 employees from three employer hosts were conducted to determine their understanding and reaction to value-based benefit designs and programs that are a growing trend among employers.

Employee focus group key findings

-- Employers need to reframe employees' perceptions of the health care

marketplace to create an understanding that higher quality can equal

lower cost.

-- Employees want choi
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SOURCE Midwest Business Group on Health
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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