Could you use a friend in the insurance industry? Let’s face it. Healthcare is confusing, medical costs are rising, and expecting your employees to find the right care leads to frustrations. Your employees face many questions when it comes to utilizing all of the benefits your provide – especially healthcare insurance. It’s natural for them to have questions – but do they have a way to get answers?
“How much will my medical procedure cost?”
“Where can I find a quality provider?”
“Was I billed correctly?”
93% of Americans say they don’t trust their insurance company to provide unbiased guidance for navigating our complicated healthcare system. With the complexity of healthcare and the insurance industry comes a lack of patient confidence. Many times, patients are unaware of their best options or don’t know when to talk with their insurers. This is why many employers now incorporate the services of a healthcare advocate as part of their employee benefits program.
What is a healthcare advocate and how does having one benefit your employees?
The main goal of a healthcare advocate is to ensure patients are prepared walking into their doctor’s office, are aware of the premiums attached to care, and to know the right questions to ask their insurer. Think of a it as having another set of eyes and ears in the exam room when seeking care or when making decisions on were to get the appropriate, cost-effective services. There are many benefits of advocacy, the most important being peace of mind for your employees.
Healthcare advocates can:
- Help your employees understand medical communications.
- Become a voice to ask questions on their behalf.
- Compile or update a patient’s medicine list.
- Help your employees follow treatment instructions and get appropriate follow-up care.
- Assist with logistics such as scheduling, transportation, paperwork, etc.
- Research treatment options, procedures, providers and facilities.
- Access additional services such as legal or financial support.
- Ask the “what’s next” questions, such as, “If this test is negative what does it mean? If it’s positive, will more tests be needed?”
Especially with a serious diagnosis or alarming test results, listening carefully and asking questions can help a patient get better care. But here’s the problem: It’s hard to focus properly when you are feeling overwhelmed, confused and are possibly stunned by the news you just received. That’s when having a health or patient advocate can really be helpful.
In the case of an illness that hinders your daily life and requires regular medication, a patient advocate can help to make sure the patient is getting the right medications at the right time. Patient advocates can arrange and facilitate complex treatment regimens. They can also help employee’s navigate situations where they are diagnosed with a serious illness that prevents the employee from returning to work. Sometimes human resources departments are overwhelmed, or you may work for a smaller company where there is no human resources department. Patient advocates can help to communicate with your employer about your health condition, anticipated return to work, or needs if you are able to return to work part-time. Patient advocates can also can assist with legal documents, arrange meetings with attorneys, and explain necessary legal steps.
Why is having a healthcare advocate incorporated into your employee benefits plan so important?
With a healthcare advocate, your employees are supported through their unique journeys, and employers don’t have to manage the process. Patient advocacy means your HR team and employees have a true partner in managing their healthcare plan. Utilizing an advocate can also reduce liability on your company and save staff time by outsourcing these concerns to us and greatly improve employee satisfaction with your benefits plan. By providing advocacy services, you are essentially providing more transparency by educating employees about the benefits of their healthcare plan and how to utilize those benefits.
It’s a huge time saver as well. You can improve employee productivity on the job because employees spend less time trying to resolve their health benefit issues. All in all, employees feel that they are the company’s most important asset when provided a health advocate which in turn saves them time, headaches, and money.
What can an employer expect?
Let’s consider a common procedure and take a look at the potential impact.
The cost for something like a knee replacement can vary from $30,000 to $160,000 in the Tampa Bay area. The quality facility with fewer return surgeries and infection rates are frequently the ones with lower costs. An advocate would educate your employee so they can avoid the higher risk AND the higher cost center. This approach is better for everyone and can make a significant impact on your annual renewal rates.
The expert team at Hartin Dynamics stands ready to help your organization and your employees maximize what they get out of your company’s benefits plan. Hartin Dynamics is dedicated to creating a lasting partnership and providing you an employee benefits plan customized for you and your team’s needs. Simply put, we help employers Do Employee Benefits Better. Let’s talk and find out how.