graphic of a tablet with medical chart information on the display

Shift to Value-Based Care Highlighted in National Alliance Purchaser Survey

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions recently released the results of their survey “Pulse of the Purchaser 2021-2023 Directions in Workforce, Benefits, Health Equity,” completed by 151 employers and purchasers nationwide.

graphic of a tablet with medical chart information on the display

April 6, 2021 – The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions recently released the results of their National Alliance Purchaser Survey. Dubbed, “Pulse of the Purchaser 2021-2023 Directions in Workforce, Benefits, Health Equity,” the online survey went out to 151 employers and purchasers that are members of the coalitions that are affiliated with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. The responses represent a wide array of organizations in regards to diverse industries and sizes and indicate a shift towards Value-Based Care.

The survey results highlighted the fact that employers are growing more confident that stability will be returning to the workforce. Over 50% of employers reported that they expect a more stabilized business environment this year. 25% of respondents thought that would be achieved by Q2 of 2021, while 27% think that will occur in Q3. The healthcare industry indicated a faster return than other industries.

In addition to looking at a return to stability in the workforce, the survey also polled respondents on health reform. Results showed that employers support potential health reforms and that support has grown since the fall 2020 survey conducted by the National Alliance. 87% of employers view drug price regulation as somewhat helpful, while 85% are for hospital price transparency, and 79% are for surprise billing regulation. In regards to the Medicare public option, 44% of employers view it as somewhat or very helpful, while just 15% noted that it could be somewhat or very harmful.

Health Benefits & Value-Based Care

graphic showing the activity organizations

Health benefits are another area addressed in the survey. As Figure 1 to the left shows, over 90% of employers either have or anticipate expanding telehealth for physical and behavioral care. Additionally, the results show a shift towards value-based health care. 31% of employers are considering implementing a value-based design in the next one to three years, in addition to the 35% that already have a value-based design strategy.

In regards to increased costs, 55% of employers are not considering increased employee cost-sharing to mitigate the cost increases, compared to 45% who are considering increased employee cost-sharing.

The results of the survey also show a significant focus on Total Person Health as it relates to mental health integration, chronic conditions, and emphasis on more personalization of health interventions. 4 out of 5 employers are considering putting more emphasis on the promotion of high-value care. 60% of employers are also assessing various strategies to deal with social needs and social determinants of health.

Health Equity & Race

The last area of focus in the survey centered on health equity. Currently, most companies do not have a broad health equity strategy in place. The top strategies today are integrating equity into an organization’s values and objects and engaging various departments to discuss company strategy. However, as Figure 2 to the right shows, there is a long way to go in regards to addressing race, health, and equity.

graphic showing the activity organizations

Other areas of improvement for addressing health equity include updating contracts to feature inclusion, working with union leadership, and establishing equity metrics for health and wellbeing programs, among others.

Michael Thompson, National Alliance president, and CEO notes, “Employers are working to get back to normal operations which most expect by the third quarter of 2021. While the vaccination efforts are currently job one, plans are shaping up now for employers to improve health, equity, and healthcare value over the next few years.”

The results show that even as employers are working to get back to normal, they understand that improvements need to be made to health care delivery and design, including health equity.

Click here to view the full report from the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.

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The VBP Blog is a comprehensive resource for all things related to value-based payments. Up-to-date news, informative webinars, and relevant blogs in the VBP sphere to help your organization find success.