The arrival of consumer-centric healthcare.Manag Care Q. 2003 Winter; 11(1):20-3.MC
Rising employer healthcare costs are driving the need for new cost-saving benefit programs. Consumer-driven health plans have the potential to create savings for employers and better care options for patients. Furthermore, three fundamental forces need to come together for these health plans to become a reality. First, employees need to view healthcare benefits as assets and be provided with the tools to manage those assets. Second, employees must have continuity in the management of their healthcare assets, which includes their medical utilization history. Finally, any savings accumulated in these plans must be employee owned and portable from job to job or available for retirement healthcare needs. Making consumers active participants in the next generation of health plans is a necessity. Making it happen, however, will be a challenge.