Note: The following is a re-post from Medical Travel Today’s Managing Editor, Megan Kennedy, who has posted several of my earlier articles on their newsletter. I am returning the favor, as her article spells out just how medical travel can be implemented into work comp, just as it is being done for group health.
As healthcare costs in the U.S. continue to surge, employers are looking for ways to maximize value. Today, approximately 15 percent of the nation’s 50 largest employers are turning to a medical travel benefit – also known as “travel for treatment programs” — as a way to provide high-quality, cost-effective care for their employees. Today, an increasing number of plan members are communicating a positive receptivity around the concept of traveling for care as a way to offset the astronomical co-pays, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing that they are now responsible for as a result of healthcare reform.
In the past, large employers have taken to the idea of a medical travel offering, but recently more mid-size and smaller employers have begun to note the many benefits of traveling for care.
As the medical travel industry continues to develop, employers and their employees are accessing care at the country’s top hospitals, also known as Centers of Excellence (COEs), and doctors-at a predetermined cost.
In fact, some of the top hospitals in the U.S. are now offering bundled payments – “a single payment for all services related to an episode of care,” according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Benefits of bundled pricing include:
- Transparent and “up front” cost of care and treatment
- Coordination among providers
- Optimal continuum of care
- Decrease in unnecessary procedures
- Reduced re-admissions
According to Laura Carabello, executive editor and publisher, Medical Travel Today, “Employers of all sizes build in incentive programs to prompt workforce uptake of the benefit, including waiving co-pays and deductibles, and covering both patient and companion/caregiver travel expenses. One of the drivers is the documented track record of a COE to achieve better results for specific procedures, mitigating complications, repeat procedures, and readmissions-which can be very expensive in terms of hard costs, time lost from work and the health of employees. Care that is delivered with bundled pricing at predictable costs is generating wide receptivity.”
by Megan Kennedy, Managing Editor, Medical Travel Today
Full article can be found at:
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