HR and benefits leaders know that managing multiple healthcare point solutions can be overwhelming. A comprehensive approach to employee health that’s data-driven and focuses on creating deeper relationships between providers and employees can help to simplify the process.

As an HR and benefits leader, you’re responsible for providing a comprehensive care solution that improves health outcomes and keeps spending under control — a task far easier said than done. You already manage the health plan, vision and dental providers, virtual care and Employee Assistance Programs, not to mention all the various wellness initiatives. On top of all this, you’re also helping employees figure out how to navigate a complex and changing healthcare system.

You’re stuck, trying to juggle relationships with many different vendors, but each healthcare point solution only addresses one problem. And worse, each solution feels transactional and siloed, versus outcomes-focused. There’s no sharing of information, and you bear the burden of trying to bring all these disparate benefits and services together.

It’s no wonder HR leaders often experience point solution fatigue, says Jeff Wells, MD, Marathon Health CEO and co-founder. “Simply managing all these disparate relationships can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially when costs continue to rise each year while employee health declines or remains stagnant,” Wells says.

Fortunately, many HR and benefits leaders now recognize there’s a new approach to the way they offer primary care and wellness programming, one that not only integrates multiple solutions, but uses data to improve health outcomes and ultimately lower health costs.

A Comprehensive Approach to Employee Health with a Better Benefit Solution

A comprehensive solution that offers your employees an onsite health center, Network health centers around town or virtual primary healthcare simplifies the juggling act HR and benefits leaders currently face.

Integrated care teams — consisting of primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, health coaches, diabetes educators, dietitians, and behavioral health specialists — work together, serving each employee. They focus on treating each employee’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

It’s a radically different approach, based on the belief that when you give employees easy access to high-quality care, they will engage with the services become healthier, and ultimately lower your costs along the way.

With a single healthcare solution, employees and their dependents get the same great benefits and gain unlimited access to quality primary care for all of their health and wellness needs, from sick visits and annual physicals to biometric screenings, flu shots and chronic condition management.

The differentiator: primary care for employees that focuses on outcomes, not transactions. A dedicated healthcare team for your employees gets to the root of the problem and doesn’t mask a symptom with medication. An omnichannel approach allows employees to access care in person, over the phone or even schedule a virtual visit. Whatever main employer health solution you choose, be sure the vendor provides a mix of communication/marketing channels to educate employees about taking advantage of your healthcare offering and to keep them engaged.

“Our vision is to precisely optimize care based on the patient’s health goals, communications preferences and clinical best practices,” Wells says. “Everything begins with frontend engagement. If people don’t walk through the proverbial front door to Marathon Health to help them on their wellbeing journey, then the rest of the outcomes evaporate.”

Data to Drive Better Health — Not More Healthcare Point Solutions

An employer healthcare offering also needs to be able to capture population health data to inform care teams on the right steps to get your employees healthy. Robust data can be turned into actionable insights that are shared throughout the care journey.  

Healthcare teams can leverage data to allow for a tailored and personal care experience. For example, if an employee has diabetes, the care teams will work with the patient and engage them with a Diabetes Care Management Program that includes group educational sessions.  

Rather than have so many healthcare point solutions, leverage the data. The deep reporting drills down to health outcomes, improved results and lower costs, giving human resource leaders the power to make informed decisions and prove lasting impact. 

Deep Employee-Provider Relationships Build Trust

Better health requires a strong relationship between employees and their care teams, and patient-care team interaction creates the opportunity to build a foundation of trust to further empower healthy behavior changes.

“We give our providers the freedom to spend quality time with each patient, with the average appointment lasting at least 30 minutes,” Wells says. “The longer appointment times enable providers to build trust and form meaningful relationships.” Those providers also can leverage the employee’s health data to help the visit be more productive and help each employee set wellness goals and a follow-up care plan.

“We want to build personal relationships and deliver continuity of care,” Wells adds. “We want to walk the patients’ journey with them, to the point where they now give us more permission to help them live a better life, make better decisions, and trust us with recommendations on where to go next. That then allows us to drive outcomes more effectively.”

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