Whether it’s justified or not, Americans don’t trust health insurance companies. As a result, employees and their families often distrust any health program from an insurance carrier.
The June 2015 issue of Insurance Business America published an article entitled “America’s least-respected industries: how does insurance fare?” that cites a Harris Poll that found that only 7 percent of Americans trust their insurance company. That statistic was a 4 percent decrease from the previous year.
On the flip side, the article states, “On the other end of the spectrum, supermarkets, hospitals and online search engines ranked among America’s most-trusted industries…”
Employers promote so many interventions to improve healthcare quality and lower healthcare costs. Yet it’s important to note that the source of these programs ultimately determines whether they SUCCEED (i.e., change employee behavior) or FAIL (i.e., maintain the status quo).
The Elephant in the Room
Whether it’s justified or not, Americans trust their hospital.
As a result, employees are more likely to trust information regarding the quality of a test or a procedure, the price of a test or a procedure or even the necessity of a test or procedure if that information comes from a hospital rather than from an insurance company—regardless of the clinical correctness, cost or logic of that information.
This credibility gap between trust in insurance companies and trust in hospitals is the “elephant in the room.”
How Healthcare Navigation Fits In
Employer health plan programs need to directly address this credibility gap. Of course, I am biased because we have seen how employers effectively position Compass as an independent third-party to advocate on behalf of employees and their families and focus on what is in their best interest… not the best interest of the insurance company or the hospital. Sometimes these interests are aligned… but not always.
Healthcare Navigation must put the employee/family member/patient first. It needs to help them navigate their insurance and benefits the right way, as well as steer them to the right doctors, hospitals and care providers — those providers that improve the quality of care and lower healthcare costs.
Employees are the lifeblood of a company. They deserve to be treated fairly, transparently and — especially with healthcare issues — caringly.
To learn how Compass does just that, visit www.compassphs.com.