Welcome to Our First Issue!
Welcome to the first issue of The Employers’ Voice, an e-newsletter just for Employers’ Forum of Indiana members. We hope to use this publication to keep you up-to-date on current events, initiatives, and resources related to the Forum and the work we all do to improve the value payers and patients receive for their health care expenditures.
In this issue we’ll share an update on the Employer Opioid Toolkit, highlights from our national conference in March, introduce you to our Chairwoman, and more. In the future, we invite you to share relevant resources, tools, and information. We welcome your feedback and contributions, and hope this will become a valuable resource that you find both beneficial and informative.
Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you all at the May 10 Stakeholder Meeting!
President and CEO, Employers’ Forum of Indiana
Employer Opioid Toolkit Launched March 5, 2019
Opioid misuse and addiction knows no bounds (race, economic, etc.). In Indiana, 80% of employers believe opioid misuse is a problem in the workplace. To help combat this issue, we are proud to announce the Employer Opioid Toolkit. This site provides employers with the information and resources needed to help understand the opioid epidemic, and promotes ways to take action through policies, training, take-back programs and more. Using these tools employers can educate themselves on this epidemic and take steps to protect themselves and their employees.
We hope the site will also provide inspiration to employers through sharing the progress and success of others. For more information, click the button below to visit the toolkit.
National Conference Highlights
Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our first ever National Hospital Price Transparency Conference! A highlight of the event was sharing the preliminary results of the first national hospital price transparency study in the U.S. to publicly note commercial hospital prices by hospital name. The study, conducted by RAND Corporation, reported commercial hospital prices paid as a percent of what Medicare paid for the same services, thus making the relative prices comparable across the country. We are excited to announce that RAND aims to have the final results of the study published on May 9, 2019.
Meet Christan Royer
Job Title: Director, Benefits – Indiana University
Member of the Employers’ Forum Since: 2005
Employers’ Forum Participation: Chair, Value-Based Payment Task Force, Team-Based Care Working Committee
What is IU currently working on that you are most excited about? How do you think it will drive improvements to health and healthcare in the community?
At IU, we have always worked to provide a very robust benefit package for employees. However, our medical plan expenditures have increased 35% over the last 4 years. This is not sustainable. As costs continue to rise, we have to strategize new ways to deliver benefits that provide value, yet be mindful of the budget. We are excited to be part of the RAND study along with many other Forum members and hope that we can find solutions as a group to improve the value we get for our healthcare expenditures.
What do you see as the biggest threat to our community’s health? How do you feel it needs to be addressed?
Access to care is a huge issue for our population. There are long waits for primary care appointments (6-9 months for established patients) and lack of specialists in some areas where our employees live and work. Tackling growing healthcare costs and trying to balance that with ensuring our employees have access to care has been difficult. We are working on ways to promote telemedicine tools and educating employees on where to go for care and what setting is most appropriate for acute situations that often have to be handled by walk-in or urgent care locations due to lack of primary care appointments.
Why do you and your organization belong to the Employers’ Forum? What do you find most valuable as a member?
First, we belong to the Forum in order to learn from and network with other members. We gain knowledge and insights from our peers and colleagues across the state at every meeting we attend. Additionally, the Forum is working on topics and initiatives that are important to IU. We want to be part of the conversation as ideas, projects, and task forces are created to find solutions to the healthcare challenges we all face in Indiana.
Why do you think a multi-stakeholder coalition like the Employers’ Forum is needed?
Unlike many state coalitions, the Employers’ Forum is unique in that it is open to all stakeholders. By bringing employers, providers, brokers, physicians, TPA/Carriers, and others together, we have the right parties to discuss and understand all angles of current healthcare issues. We also have all of the right voices in the room to drive decision-making.
What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.
I enjoy running and have completed 3 full marathons and over 30 half marathons in the last 10 years.
In the News
Indiana’s Health Care Costs Exceeds Neighbors’ (Indianapolis Star)
Hoosier Hospitals Owe Us Greater Price Transparency (Indiana Business Journal
Average Annual Premiums for Single and Family Coverage, 1999-2018 (Kaiser Family Foundation)
The Cost of Employer Insurance Is a Growing Burden for Middle-Income Families (Commonwealth Foundation)
Annual Report (Health Care Cost Institute)
Health Plans for State Employees Use Medicare’s Hammer on Hospital Bills (Kaiser Health News)
Centura Joins Unique Initiative to Cut Healthcare Costs in Colorado (Modern Healthcare)
The 293 hospitals with 5 stars from CMS (Becker Hospital Review)
Gloria Sachdev Elected to Board of National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers Coalition
Gloria Sachdev was recently elected to be a Board of Governors member of the National Alliance of Health Care Purchasers Coalition. This organization is comprised of state business coalition executives. She looks forward to bringing best practices from other states to Indiana and sharing the great work the Forum is doing with the country.
Do you have a suggestion or contribution for our next newsletter? Contact us.