December 5, 2023 Source: drugdu 102
The top three areas of concern for employers in 2024 include rising healthcare costs, mental health challenges and cancer care, according to a recent report from Business Group on Health.
By MARISSA PLESCIA
There are several challenges and trends employers should keep tabs on in 2024, with rising healthcare costs topping the list, according to a report the Business Group on Health released on Tuesday.
Washington, D.C.-based Business Group on Health is a non-profit organization representing large employers on health benefits and health policy issues.
Here are the three top healthcare trends for employers in 2024:
1. Rising healthcare costs: Healthcare costs are expected to continue to climb in 2024 due to inflation, provider shortages, growing mental health challenges and missed preventive screenings that led to more costly health conditions. Other major cost drivers include expensive cell and gene therapies and GLP-1s.
“A confluence of factors are creating a fever pitch and heightened concern on the back of what was already alarming,” said Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health, in an interview.
To combat these challenges, Kelsay said employers are focused on making a transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model. She added that they’ll also be leveraging centers of excellence and evaluating their PBM contracts.
2. Subcategories of mental health become growing areas of concern: Mental health has been a focus for employers for the last few years, but now several areas within mental health are becoming a bigger priority. This includes youth and adolescent mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention.
Kelsay said that employers are working with numerous vendor partners to improve access to mental health, but they need to work together.
“The challenge is now we have a patchwork of different solutions that an employee or their family members may be trying to navigate in their time of need,” Kelsay said. “If those things are not integrated, if they’re all operating in isolation and independent of one another, that creates fragmentation and a bad patient experience.”
3. Employers zero in on cancer and other serious conditions: Cancer is the number one cost driver for employers due to delayed screenings during Covid-19 that led to late-stage cancers. Diabetes, cardiac health and musculoskeletal conditions are also areas of concern for employers.
Business Group on Health said that employers will adopt a “back to basics” approach to healthcare, centering on prevention (like screenings) and primary care so that these conditions are caught early and don’t become more severe. Employers will also be looking at more personalized care for employees, including biomarker screenings and pre-treatment genetic testing.
Photo: rudall30, Getty Images
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