Political and Legal information on the Health Care Debate. View our freshly updated You Tube videos about health care on the right hand side of this blog. Includes ideas from politicians concerning Universal Health Care. Information on all things health insurance related from Medicare to short term health insurance.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

New approach to control health care costs

This is an effort by a large insurance company (Wellpath) to attempt to control costs through modifying the behavior of the insured (it's own employees). This is a very good idea because the best way to control health care costs is to not need health care because of your health. If people stop smoking, eat healthy, and exercise on a regular basis, the cost of health care would dramatically go down. This is a good idea by Wellpath and one that will need to be monitored as "health care on a large scale".

On another note, this is the primary reason that I do not believe that Health Care is a "right". In other words, if I work hard to take care of myself so that I do not have health care issues, I should not be forced (through taxes) to pay for someone who does not live a healthy lifestyle to get their expensive health care.

Enjoy the article.

Health Insurer Ties Customer Health to Employee Bonuses

Tuesday , April 03, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS — WellPoint Inc. (WLP) employees will have a personal stake in the health of the company's customers, thanks to a new plan that ties a portion of their annual bonuses to it.
The nation's largest health insurer unveiled a plan Tuesday to link 5 percent of every annual bonus to a new measurement called the Member Health Index.
The index will monitor 20 different clinical areas to determine whether patient care is improving.

It aims to take measurements from broad categories like patient safety or care management and tell whether care has improved for most patients, but especially those dealing with chronic conditions like diabetes, or high blood pressure, said Dr. Sam Nussbaum, Wellpoint's executive vice president and chief medical officer.

If the index reaches an improvement goal set by the company, WellPoint's roughly 42,000 employees will see the result in their bonus check. The new measurement affects every employee from the executive suite on down, Nussbaum said.
"It's basically all or nothing for our company this year," he said. "We're either going to achieve it or we're not going to achieve it."

Linking employee bonuses to care improvements will "get everyone energized about improving health care in our company," he added.
Consultant Bob Boyer said he knows of no other insurer that links employee bonuses to the health of its customers.

The program shows WellPoint is making "a concerted effort to show that they've got some skin in the game, when it comes to their members' health," said Boyer, market business leader for the Indianapolis office of Mercer Health and Benefits.

"That might be the next evolution in measuring member health," he said. "I think it's an innovative approach."

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