Labor shortages make it difficult for healthcare organizations to shift the cost of health insurance premium hikes to their employees, according to a recently released survey of 100 California healthcare facilities.
"Health delivery organizations are unlike employers in other industries because shifting cost increases to employees is not a viable multi-year strategy," says Steve Richter, senior vice president of Keenan HealthCare, a division of Keenan &Associates, the Torrance, Calif.-based consulting and insurance brokerage firm that conducted the survey.
The survey finds that instead of implementing a full consumer-directed health plan strategy--a direction in which many employers are moving in the face of double-digit medical cost increases--healthcare organizations prefer an "incremental approach to consumerism."
For example, healthcare organizations often begin with voluntary benefits, employee education resources and debit cards for benefit accounts, the report says.
About 93% of California healthcare organizations are considering or have already put in place a self-insured system of healthcare financing, the survey says. About 63% are considering or have plans to implement disease management programs to reduce costs and lost time while improving employee health.