Educated Consumers

Over the past decade, employers have focused much of their cost management efforts on wellness, lifestyle and disease management.  Although these initiatives have been effective in helping employers improve the health of their employees, this approach alone leaves out one critical element which can have significant cost savings – helping people effectively navigate the health care system. 

According to the
chart to the right, approximately 51% of the nation’s health expenditures were spent in hospital care and physician/clinical services with a significant proportion of other costs coming from general clinical services. 

With the majority of costs running through the health care system, it is essential that people have access to high-quality information and education to support their efforts in making informed decisions about their health and where and how they receive health care. 



 
Consumerism 
 A movement in health care 
encouraging individuals to 
become more involved in, & 
take more responsibility 
for, making smart 
health care decisions

In the 2012 MBGH Member Survey on Employers Health Benefit Directions, over 75% said one of their top priorities was creating more effective health care consumers.
Other priorities include: creating or enhancing a culture of health at the workplace and communicating health benefit programs 

In an employer survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, 62% of respondents didn’t know how much their health care costs were. For those that did, 23% estimated they were less than $500 a month.  These results highlight a lack of awareness of the real cost of health care and shows how disconnected consumers are to these costs.  Employers have recognized this disconnect and in the last few years have started to focus their communication efforts on encouraging individuals to take more responsibility for their health and supporting them to make smart health care decisions.
 


Safeway, the supermarket chain, has been successful in helping employees to be engaged health care consumers and to:
1) Take personal responsibility for understanding and optimizing health behaviors
2) Be a smart buyer of health care products and services
3) Participate in transformational consumer-focused health plans

 Here’s a great example of what an “active health care consumer” does…..

  • Communicates with their doctor and share in decisions
  • Demonstrates self-care—important skills for everyday health
  • Makes thoughtful health plan and provider selections
  • Manages lifestyle and chronic conditions
  • Adheres to medication and treatment recommendations
     Become a more active Consumer!
  • Actively participates in programs offered through the employer and health plan
  • Practices prevention—knowing what to do for early detection
  • Pursues a healthy lifestyle—engaging in activities to maintain or improve health
  • Discusses the positive aspects of health care consumerism with others–and  spreading the story
  • Acts as a role model for family members and even co-workers — exemplifying healthy behaviors
  • Adheres to medication and treatment recommendations
  • Actively participates in programs offered through the employer and health plan
  • Practices prevention—knowing what to do for early detection
  • Pursues a healthy lifestyle—engaging in activities to maintain or improve health

 

  
Consumer Resource

  
Consumer Resource

  
Consumer Resource