Purchasing High Performance Archive

Purchasing High Performance is a bulletin for employers and others interested in promoting value in health care. It is produced in partnership with the National Business Coalition on Health.

  • March 25, 2011 Issue
As Health Reform Moves Ahead, Employers Face Tough Questions

The timeline for overhauling the nation's health care system is clear, and spelled out in black and white. However, the drama surrounding reform has created a muddled mess. The failed repeal effort grabbed national headlines for months and legal challenges to reform are surely heading to the nation's top court. But for employers working to comply with the new law, there are more immediate concerns related to new regulations, the forthcoming exchanges, possible penalties, and as-yet-undefined minimum benefit levels.

Boeing’s Nurse Case Managers Cut Per Capita Costs by 20 Percent

Doug McLaren has been an engineer and business analyst in Boeing's commercial aircraft division for the past 31 years. It's a job he enjoys and is good at, but for the past 20 years, he's also taken on an unwanted second job: managing a chronic pulmonary disease. The illness, he says, is well controlled, but a constant burden and worry just the same.

Health Risk Assessments: What You Don't Know Can Cost You

Employers convinced there is no more low-hanging fruit, with respect to keeping employees healthy and controlling health care costs, may just need to think low-tech. Health risk assessments (HRAs) can help people get needed care when it can do the most good—before problems escalate. But just offering an HRA (as 60% of large employers do) isn't a cure-all. To really make a difference, employers must ensure that employees fill out the HRA and then follow up appropriately.

Lessons from AFSCME on Employee Engagement
In 2006, after several years of health care cost increases averaging in the double digits, the leadership of Illinois-based Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) knew it needed to look at creative approaches to providing affordable health benefits for its 400 staff employees, retirees, and dependents. The unlikely answer? A novel contract with employees that required them to get engaged in their own health care.
Interview: Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition, Talks About Her State’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Demonstration Project
Purchasing High Performance talked to Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition (a coalition of employers, hospitals, health plans and doctors), about the patient-centered medical home pilot project that received over $20 million in support from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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