Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

One firm controls costs while maintaining employee preventive health care

04.12.2006
Differential cost-sharing approaches in employee health benefits encourage use of preventive care services while controlling a firm’s overall health-care costs, according to a study published recently in Health Affairs by researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

The study, titled "Effects of a Cost-sharing Exemption on Use of Preventive Services at One Large Employer," evaluated how Alcoa, a world leader in aluminum production, implemented a new benefit plan for some employees and their families in 2004.

As a way to keep employees healthy and to reduce future health care costs, the plan provided employees incentives to use preventive care services by completely covering the expenses. For these services, employees and their dependents did not have a co-payment, co-insurance, or deductible. At the same time, the company increased cost sharing, or the amount employees would have to pay out-of-pocket, for many outpatient services.

"Our study suggests that if employers would like to maintain rates of preventive health care use while increasing cost sharing, exempting preventive care services from cost sharing may help," according to lead author Susan H. Busch, associate professor of public health in the Division of Health Policy and Administration in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine. Busch explains that the results of the study may encourage more firms to exempt preventive care services from cost sharing.

The researchers examined claims data from 2003 to 2004 and compared the rates of preventive care use among 30,000 employees before and after this benefit change. Due to multi-year union contracts, only some Alcoa employees were subject to the new benefit design allowing the researchers to compare preventive care use among employees with different benefit plans at the same company. The preventive services studied include cervical and colorectal cancer screening, well-child visits and adolescent well care.

"After this benefit change, Alcoa maintained rates of preventive care use, suggesting that exempting high-value services from cost-sharing can preserve the use of important health benefits," said Busch, who notes that the trend in employee health coverage has been to increase deductibles, co-payments or coinsurance, resulting in higher out-of-pocket expenses for employees.

A concern about increased cost-sharing is that it could lead to declines in the use of services that have been shown to cost-effectively reduce the burden of disease, including preventive care. "This study indicates one way employers can maintain use of preventive services, while increasing cost-sharing on other services," said Busch.

Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>