Mercer Calls on Employers to Lead the Change in Health Benefits

Mercer believes employers should have better influence on the health care marketplace because of their purchasing power.

By Rebecca Moore | October 17, 2016

Mercer says that today, stakeholders other than employers―i.e. health plan providers, the government―define the rules for employer-sponsored health care benefits, and it would like to change that around.

Mercer believes employers should have better influence because of their purchasing power.

In a new publication,  “Employer-led healthcare transformation: Vitals for a better tomorrow,” Mercer notes that employers today are faced with many complex, unprecedented challenges that impact their ability to deliver an effective system, including difficulty navigating a complex and fragmented system; soaring costs for employers and employees; and significant effort needed to manage a high-performing plan.

According to Mercer, employers can lead the transformation by addressing four key themes: “Pay for value, drive to quality, personalize the experience, embrace disruption.”

Pay for value – Aligning reimbursement with value, not volume.

Drive to quality – Delivering the right care at the right time, in the right setting, error free.

Personalize the experience – Leveraging better data and technology to engage employees in the right behaviors, every day.

Embrace disruption – Injecting change into the system, with internal stakeholders and external partners, to be future-ready.

“Employers are pivotal players in today’s health care system, yet their role has remained remarkably passive,” says Sharon Cunninghis, North American Leader of Mercer’s Health business. “In fact, nearly two-thirds of all insured coverage is employer-provided, which translates into a nearly one trillion dollar annual spend. The time has come for employers to work with other key stakeholders to translate this potential leverage into actual market transformation―and we see our point of view as the roadmap.”