Firms Pay a Little to Save More

Today's Boston Globe reports on a new health care costsaving trend emerging among some employers: reducing or eliminating drug copayments for workers with chronic ailments, offering medical screenings at work, and helping employees with catastrophic diseases access clinical trials.

Read the Globe story.

Companies say their goal is to encourage workers to take their medications and get regular checkups to reduce the likelihood of expensive hospital admissions and disability payments.

The firms the Globe story cites as investigating these options include Marriott International, AstraZenica, and Johnson & Johnson

The newspaper quotes Dr. Mark Fendrick, director of University of Michigan's Center for Value Based Insurance Design, as saying that incentives are more effective than higher deductible plans.

''Right now, this country's number-one approach to the high cost of healthcare is to make employees pay more," said Fendrick. ''But cost sharing is a blunt instrument and the evidence actually shows that if you make people with chronic illnesses pay more, they stop buying the lifesaving things they need and companies wind up paying more."

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Published in: on May 4, 2006 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

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