Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cracking Health Costs: The book

Tom Emerick and Al Lewis have jointly provided a valuable public service for America's companies in a new book called Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company's Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care.  (The offical release date is July 1, but you can order from Amazon at a pre-publication discount right now.) This is all really relevant as companies deal with the introduction of health exchanges and other chnages resulting from the national health care law.

The authors offer the following description:  "Cracking Health Costs reveals the best ways for companies and small businesses to fight back, right now, against rising health care costs. This book proposes multiple, practical steps that you can take to control costs and increase the effectiveness of the health benefit."

Remarkably, the book does as they say.  It casts asides fads, shibboleths, misconceptions, and just plain lies often offered by those many participants in the health care field who have collectively helped our country spend almost a fifth of our economy on a system that produces inferior results.  It reminds us that those participants view that level of national spending as success: After all, your costs are their income.

For example, it attacks the methodological flaws used by those who will try to convince you that prevention and wellness companies will save your company money.  It also splays out for you to see the roles of brokers and advisors, helping you to separate the wheat from the chaff in the advise and services they offer.

Beyond these broad areas of advice, it presents day-today suggestions you can use to help your employees.  These show up in helpful text boxes, like this one:

A Clip-and-Save List of Questions Your Employees Should Be Trained to Ask Their Doctors before Agreeing to Any Nonroutine Test (courtesy of our resident overtreatment expert, Brian Klepper, and the American College of Physicians) 

Do you have the results of my previous test? (if, indeed, you have had one). 
Will the test results change anything? 
What do you hope to learn from them? 
What is the probability and potential consequence of a false-positive result? 
Is there a potential danger if you don’t order this test? 
Does the test itself post any potential dangers or complications? 

Here's the table of contents:

Part One: Mostly Bad News
Myths and Facts about Your Health Benefit
Does Your Broker or Consultant Have Your Back? 
It’s Time for the Wellness Industry to Admit to Doping
This Is Your Health Benefit on Drugs
Your Employees’ Health Is Too Important to Be Left to the Doctors
Are New Delivery Models Déjà Vu All Over Again, Again? 

Part Two: Mostly Good News 
The Company-Sponsored Centers of Excellence Model Hospital Safety: How to Get Your Employees Back to Work in One Piece
Real Care Coordination: The Only Other Way to Save Money
Goofus Retains a Wellness Vendor, Gallant Implements Well-Being 

Part Three: What Should You Do Next? 
Health Insurance Exchanges: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Oh, and did I mention that the book is funny and engaging? It is. You will have trouble putting it down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For the absolute life of me, I have never understood why companies haven't been exerting their leverage to lower health care costs all along. Big companies are the one player on the buy side with some clout. Why, oh why? The genie got out of the bottle long ago.