Hospitals focusing on clinical conditions, employee well-being to beat rising healthcare costs

In anticipation of higher employee healthcare costs, hospitals are focusing on clinical conditions and investing in employee well-being, a healthcare employer survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson found.

The survey's 23rd edition, which included 38 hospitals among 687 employers, was conducted in June and July.

Three findings:

1. On average, surveyed hospitals expect healthcare costs to increase 4.3 percent next year, up from 4.1 percent in 2018.

2. Ninety-seven percent of the surveyed hospitals said they are very confident they will continue to sponsor healthcare benefits in the next five years. Three percent were somewhat confident.

3. Surveyed hospitals said improving employee health by reducing costs of  clinical conditions (78 percent) and investing in employee well-being (89 percent) were  top priorities for managing healthcare costs over the next three years.

However, only 30 percent said they have made progress in improving clinical conditions in the last three years, and only 68 percent said they have made progress in enhancing employees' well-being.

"Although we have seen changes in healthcare legislation and consolidation across the industry, one thing is clear: Employer-sponsored healthcare is not changing any time soon," said Julie Stone, managing director of specialty practices and intellectual capital at Willis Towers Watson. "Employers remain dedicated to engaging employees and their family members across the continuum of health care needs — from improving their well-being through preventive care to helping them manage complex illnesses."

Read more survey findings here.


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