Segovia MN. Employer-Provider Interface Council (EPIC) 2019: Managing Health Benefits In The Era Of Change. P T. 2019;44(8):494-499.
The inaugural meeting of EPIC (Employer-Provider Interface Council) took place on June 11, 2019, at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway, New Jersey, with the theme of “Managing Health Benefits in the Era of Change.” The conference, which featured a roundtable discussion among a diverse group of healthcare stakeholders, was designed to examine market changes, key trends, and some of the disruptive factors in health care. National and regional leaders addressed various perspectives of decision makers, and the presentations were followed by a reactor panel* and audience participation.
The interactive nature of the program––organized by EPIC in collaboration with the Rutgers Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (HOPE) Center, School of Pharmacy––facilitated conversation, and talks focused on ways to improve employer–provider relationships. Topics included new outcomes-driven initiatives and value assessment models; barriers to effective communication regarding value; consumerism; transparency (or lack thereof); and recent developments in the policy landscape. The meeting was also intended to encourage action at a pivotal time in health care, as stakeholders adapt to an era of rapid change requiring greater collaboration.
Employers are the largest purchasers of health care in the U.S: they account for almost half of all dollars spent, and are responsible for providing coverage for more than 100 million Americans.1 The market power that employers possess, coupled with their tremendous vested interest, affords them a potentially major voice in shaping the future of health care and improving employee well-being and productivity. During the conference, some participants questioned employers’ frequent lack of engagement in assessing healthcare value. Attendees commented on the importance of understanding employers’ needs and expectations and of offering the essential tools and education that will provide them with the requisite expertise to make informed decisions. As customers with significant leverage, employers can influence the market by engaging more closely with providers, aligning their common goals for the benefit of their shared priority––the employee as plan member and patient. Re-evaluating the allocation of benefits and resources, advocating greater transparency, and providing access to meaningful data and greater external support can bring about lasting innovations that will improve quality of care and outcomes.
Read the full article here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6679946/#