Report: More Employers Are Looking To Deploy Value-Based Care

About a third of employers are integrating value-based care into their employer-sponsored insurance, according to a new survey. Another third of employers are determining the “best-fit strategies for their organization” when it comes to accountable care.

The report was published Sunday by the Milken Institute with support from Morgan Health, a JPMorgan Chase healthcare unit for employer-sponsored insurance. The Milken Institute is a nonprofit think tank focused on financial, physical, mental and environmental health. The survey received responses from 72 employers of varying sizes and industry types.

The researchers found that when making health benefit decisions, expanding preventive care, improving access to primary care and focusing on whole-person health are the top three tenets of accountable care. The lowest-ranked tenets are reducing health outcome disparities and increasing access to digital care. 

While many employers are hoping to advance accountable care, respondents noted several barriers. These challenges include difficulty in setting up value-based arrangements and health system infrastructure limitations. Employers also listed capacity, bandwidth issues, geographic limitations and cost as major barriers.

“These insights from employers highlight the need to explore opportunities in partnership with other stakeholders to effectively drive accountable care and improve health outcomes,” the report stated. “Through a whole ecosystem approach, stakeholders can build a holistic health system infrastructure that fosters the establishment or scaling up of accountable care arrangements.”

The survey also asked respondents about their current benefit offerings. The most frequently offered benefits are maternal health, mental health, virtual primary care and nurse or advice lines. The least frequently offered benefits are healthy food benefits, fitness benefits, expanded substance-use disorder treatments and caregiver support.

When asked which benefits they plan to improve over the next few years, 23% of respondents said mental health resources. Another 20% said they would enhance virtual primary care and caregiver resources.

Employers also indicated several major considerations they have for making health benefit decisions, including reducing overall costs, making a broad network of providers and services accessible and ensuring healthcare is affordable for beneficiaries.

During a Monday panel discussion at the 2024 Global Conference hosted by the Milken Institute, Morgan Health CEO Dan Mendelson shared what he expected and didn’t expect from the report’s findings.

“Some of the results are not that surprising,” he said. “Employers are really worried about cost, they want to do right by their employees. They care about the full gamut of patient experience. … Then some of the results I think are super important and were a little bit surprising. For example, we found that about half of employers are looking to drive more value into their insurance systems. And that’s really important. You basically have a group of motivated employers and if we can pull together and really start to drive that demand from the employers that insure 180 million people in the United States, I think there’s a lot of potential here.”

Photo: atibodyphoto, Getty Images

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