Magazine article Risk Management

Good Health Is Good Business

Magazine article Risk Management

Good Health Is Good Business

Article excerpt

Being an educated health care consumer is important for employees and employers alike. Purchasing group health insurance, or enrolling in a health plan, can be a complex and mysterious process if not accompanied by appropriate information.

Many employers buy their insurance based solely on price and just as many workers choose health care providers based on a barebones listing obtained from their health plan. Neither of these situations is ideal for health care consumers. Both employers and their employees need greater access to information about their insurance companies, health coverage, medical providers and services.

A growing number of organizations, including established government agencies, broad-based business coalitions and consumer advocacy groups are placing important and necessary educational tools on the Web to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about health care insurance and wellness issues.

Risk managers are a link in the chain of information between employers and their employees regarding myriad issues. Providing health care options and access to up-to-date information on topics from pregnancy and cancer to choosing a primary care physician and appealing a denied claim have become a necessary part of today's risk management services. After all, a healthy, happy workforce is key to keeping productivity high and lost time expenses low.

The following Web sites are just a few of the many entries in the electronic health care information revolution. Each site has links to other, related sites of interest and serves as a guide through the maze of information and resources.

The Employer Quality Partnership was formed this past spring to lead the quest for quality health care in the marketplace. The organization's Web site, www.eqp.org, provides electronic versions of its four free guides for both employees and employers. "Navigating the Health Care System" and "How to Choose a Health Plan" outline for employees how to successfully maneuver in the health care system and issues to think about when choosing plans and providers. "Looking for Value" and "Improving Health Care Quality" focus employers on how to evaluate health plans and help employees become better health care consumers.

Value-based health care purchasing is about identifying the highest quality health care available at the most reasonable cost. …

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