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Insider News: Getting needed care and fighting burnout

Posted by AllWays Health Partners blog team on December 03, 2020

Today's post is from our broker blog, AllWays Insider, about getting necessary care and resolving employee burnout.

In this week's Insider News, we're sharing stories on health care price transparency, how low health care utilization affects workforce health and productivity, and creative solutions to employee burnout.

Patients want healthcare price transparency, but few seek it out from RevCycleIntelligence

A Pioneer Institute survey found about 54% of Mass. adults said they never thought of trying to obtain price information about healthcare services and just one in five consumers had ever tried to find pricing information prior to obtaining the service. Mass. healthcare price transparency laws place the state in the top tier of quality of healthcare price transparency information, the Pioneer Institute said, and its laws are similar to healthcare price transparency regulations finalized by CMS. However, a gap remains between the goals of healthcare price transparency laws and actual consumer behavior, the report found. Other findings include:

  • Seventy percent of consumers didn't know their health insurance carriers had a cost estimator tool.
  • Ten percent of consumers didn't know how to obtain provider pricing information and 15% believed prices would be the same regardless of which provider they went to.
  • Almost 70% of consumers favored physician and hospital websites showing how much a provider's service could cost in out-of-pocket expenses. The option even outranked the option of getting cash back from an insurer for choosing a low-cost provider, which 66% of consumers said would help them select lower-cost care.

The authors said physician practices and hospital administrators should be trained to give consumers price information and help them navigate insurer cost estimator tools. In addition, provider administrators should prepare to give patient referrals to specialists or tests based on the prices of the services, they added. The study concluded providers and payers will need to collaborate in order to deliver out-of-pocket cost estimates in addition to the prices providers charge uninsured patients and payers for services.


New healthcare utilization study during pandemic shutdown paints challenging outlook for U.S. workforce health and productivity from Castlight Health

A Castlight Health study in JAMA Network Open found overall healthcare utilization by covered employees declined 23% in March 2020 and 52% the following month, with reductions of nearly 70% in preventive care for chronic health conditions such as cancer screenings and routine disease management. Deferred care for patients aged 46 to 64 during March - April 2020 is of particular concern, including:

  • A 70% decrease in colonoscopies;
  • A 67% decrease in mammograms; and
  • A 51% decrease in HbA1c diabetes testing.

The study found telelmedicine use increased more than 1,024% during March before soaring to more than 4,081% by April. The increase was offset by a more than 40% decline in office visits, showing many primary care needs were likely unmet during the early days of the pandemic. In addition, the study found less of the deferred care was offset by telehealth services for populations living in zip codes with average incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level or those with 80% of the population reported as non-white.


Companies offer creative solutions to worker burnout during the pandemic from Fox Business

It's clear that the risk of burnout and fatigue brought on by the pandemic is here to stay. Many companies are working hard to offer benefits and train management to reduce burnout and prevent it from setting in in the first place.

Some examples include:

  • Eventbrite's leadership training on how to manage with empathy during the pandemic
  • Construction and engineering company McKinstry Co. LLC now issues companywide "good news Friday" memos
  • Fidelity Investments began a pilot program allowing some employees to work 30 hours a week with full benefits at a small pay cut
  • Public relations firm Geben Communication offers employees bonus days off to focus on self-care
  • Dosh, a cash-back mobile app, gives employees impromptu three-day weekends
  • The corporate affairs team at Dell Technologies Inc. encourages employees to communicate when they are able to help on projects or need assistance by describing themselves as "above/below the line"

Topics: Physical health and wellness, Employers

Disclaimer: The content in this blog post represents the clinical opinions of the providers at AllWays Health Partners and is based on the most currently available clinical and governmental guidance.

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