BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), and Liberty Mutual jointly published a white paper that addresses how human resource professionals can better manage the cost and efficacy of health, disability and absence management programs.
The white paper reveals that the key to cutting the cost of the programs that collectively drive most HR budgets is improving cooperation among the employer, its group health and disability insurers, and the company’s other benefits suppliers.
Greater cooperation and coordination reduce total benefit costs in two ways. First, they help the company better manage a wider range of health and benefit issues. Beyond the administrative benefits – such as greater consistency across geographic locations and improved compliance – looking across historically isolated benefit programs can help employers spot trends and take action more quickly. Second, they improve the health of employees and streamline access to employee services across programs.
The white paper – Beyond Competition – Beyond Outcomes – stems from a session at the national 2010 IBI/NBCH Health and Productivity Forum. It is available at www.libertymutualgroup.com/groupdi, www.ibiweb.org, and www.NBCH.org
“Truly managing the cost of health, disability and absence programs is beyond the control of any one individual player,” notes Edward Crouch, M.D. and national medical director for Liberty Mutual Group Benefits. “It takes a team looking beyond the particular boundary of any single stakeholder.”
Human resource professionals can improve cooperation and coordination by:
- Making stakeholders accountable for collaborative problem solving. Employers, employees and suppliers collectively need to address care delivery, disease prevention and workplace wellness and safety. Employers must drive this shared focus through a number of strategies, such as holding “supplier summits,” sharing appropriate data – while adhering to all privacy requirements – and fostering employee wellness.
- Moving beyond “siloed” services to integrated delivery. Working together toward shared goals across historically isolated programs improves communications, promotes employee access to needed services and reduces costs. There is no single approach. Integrating services can happen over time, and employers must develop a strategy that works for their organizations
- Combining data to take meaningful action. Pulling together data from various programs is the only way to get the big picture of the issues impacting the company, its bottom line and its employees.
- Looking forward. Since serious medical events can happen to people who appear healthy, early intervention and wellness programs are critical, both to identifying conditions early and affecting the course of a disease – and therefore cost – over time. It is often far less expensive to keep people healthy than to treat conditions after they arise.
“Taking a holistic view aligns the interests of the employer, the company’s insurance and benefits providers, and employees,” says Thomas Parry, Ph.D., IBI president. “The company potentially lowers its total benefit costs, insurers and providers add greater value to their clients, and employees get improved service.”
Andrew Webber, NBCH president and CEO, noted, “Everyone has a role to play in better managing total benefit costs and this white paper can serve as a map to help employers gain the benefits of cooperation and coordination.”
Sparking cooperation between benefits providers is critical to better managing the cost of health, disability and absence management programs.
About Liberty Mutual
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium. The Company also ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2009 revenue. As of December 31, 2009, Liberty Mutual Group had $109.5 billion in consolidated assets, $94.9 billion in consolidated liabilities and $31.1 billion in annual consolidated revenue.
Liberty Mutual Group offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, assumed reinsurance, fire and surety.
Liberty Mutual Group (www.libertymutualgroup.com) employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
About the Integrated Benefits Institute
The Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) (www.ibiweb.org) provides employers and their supplier partners with resources for establishing the business value of health. As a pioneer, leader and nonprofit supplier of health and productivity research, measurement and benchmarking, IBI is the trusted source for benefits performance analysis, practical solutions, and forums for information and education. IBI’s programs, resources and expert networks advance understanding about the link between—and the impact of—health-related productivity on corporate America’s bottom line.
About the National Business Coalition on Health
NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of 60 business and health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. For additional information visit: www.nbch.org.
Richard Angevine, 617-574-6638