How to Build Employer Engagement

By The SHSMD Team posted 02-06-2018 11:56

Ask the executive team at any of the 5,200 hospitals spread across the United States and they’ll likely tell you that local demographics, competition, and payer mix make them “different from the rest.” Although differences abound, all are seeing troubling reimbursement trends, all must find ways to respond to an increasingly demanding consumer, and all are looking to develop a revenue growth strategy for long-term sustainability.

Such were the challenges facing St. Luke’s Hospital in Missouri. For more than 150 years, the hospital has been serving the greater St. Louis area. But the marketplace was changing in dramatic ways:

  1. Across the nation, hospital payment shortfalls relative to costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs continue to rise dramatically.
  2. Employers continue to grapple with insurance cost increases that far outstrip the rate of inflation.
  3. Cost-shifting tactics, such as higher employee contributions and deductibles, can result in employees avoiding necessary medical tests or procedures. This both harms an employee’s health and causes employers to pay a heavy toll in lost workdays and costlier medical expenses.

Working with Employers
The confluence of these realities created an opportunity for St. Luke’s to forge new relationships with local employers and identify employee health risks before they become costly healthcare claims, and then help manage those risks through an ongoing database marketing strategy.

St. Luke’s Passport to Wellness program includes a comprehensive health assessment survey designed to identify employee health risks. Results are confidentially reported back to each employee through a customized health report; the employer also receives an aggregate group risk report along with a cost-saving analysis of what can be achieved through health awareness and intervention. With this information, targeted health management and education can begin—from worksite health screenings to interactive wellness activities.

Since the inception of the program in 2005, St. Luke’s has seen an impressive return on investment, starting with 3.58 to 1 in the first year and increasing 12.45 to 1 in 2017.

Connecting with Consumers
In a recent issue of SHSMD's Spectrum newsletter, Jan Hess, vice president of professional and administrative services, and Robert BeSore, employer relations specialist, both at St. Luke’s, share how the hospital is connecting commercially insured consumers with key service lines.

To learn more...

SHSMD members, read the full article: Employer Engagement as a Consumer Acquisition Strategy.

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