DPC News

VANCOUVER, WASH | Bending healthcare cost curve through direct primary care

Thinking outside box enables local firms to cut healthcare costs while increasing overall employee health

By Jodie Gilmore

With healthcare premium costs increasing 17 to 23 percent each year, Scott Willis, risk manager for Tapani Inc. (previously Tapani Underground) was looking for a way to reduce his company’s healthcare-related expenses without shifting the costs to Tapani’s employees. “We wanted to stay in front of the cost curve, but still offer the best possible benefits,” said Willis. The Battle Ground-based heavy civil contracting company, which has doubled in size to more than 450 employees over the last two to three years, reached out to their insurance broker, Tyson Fuehrer, vice president of the Life and Health Department at Biggs Insurance Services (headquartered in Vancouver since 1935), for a creative solution. “Employers just want to take care of their employees, and find a way to pay for it,” said Fuehrer. Working together, Willis and Fuehrer developed a creative approach to healthcare benefits that has generated the desired savings, in addition to increasing employee satisfaction. Tapani transitioned to partial self-funded health insurance in addition to adopting the “direct primary care” (DPC) model. Partially self-funded insurance means that the firm pays all medical claims and Rx costs directly, but still uses an insurance carrier that provides a network of hospitals and facilities for specialized care and stop-loss insurance for higher claims. The DPC model is an alternative to the more common fee-for-service insurance billing characterized by co-pays and deductibles. With the DPC model, members (patients) pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee that covers all or most primary care services including clinical, laboratory and consultative services, as well as care coordination and comprehensive care management. DPC isn’t a new idea. But, said Fuehrer, it has historically been restricted to large employers (1,000+ employees), who build an on-site primary care clinic. “The challenge is that there are few businesses in Clark County that large,” said Fuehrer. “What we’ve done is paired multiple employers together to offer this sort of model. It makes financial sense for both the providers and the employers.”



SOURCE: https://www.vbjusa.com/focus-sections/healthcare-hospitals/bending-healthcare-cost-curve-direct-primary-care/


Categories: DPC News

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