Unions Adopt New Self-Funded Healthcare Models

Posted by Continuum on Oct 3, 2014 9:41:00 AM

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Focus on improving healthcare quality while lowering overall cost.

Millions of union workers and their family members depend on Taft-Hartley labor management trust funds. Since every dollar that goes towards health care costs comes from their paychecks, union workers covered by Taft-Hartley plans are usually aware of the cost of care, and obviously want to keep as much of their take home pay as possible. Consequently, union leadership is often focused on controlling costs through preventative care, disease management and group purchasing.  These efforts are often difficult to implement and manage but are essential for improved care, enhanced patient experience and lower overall costs.

Approximately 93 percent are wholly or partially self-funded. Self-funding saves money through the elimination of state insurance premium taxes (2-3 percent of premium), the elimination of risk charges imposed by health carriers and savings of investment earnings on reserves.

As good stewards of Taft-Hartley trust funds, many unions are exploring new models of care for their members, including:

  •          Ambulatory health centers with multiple services under one roof
  •          Stronger practice management methodologies to ensure maximum ROI
  •          Population Health Management programs, including centralized, coordinated care
  •          Collaboration with provider partners to create “disease-specific” care networks
  •          Partnering with other groups to create new coalitions that share resources 

A Self-Funded Healthcare Case Study

Unite Here Health wanted to create a more efficient and effective offering for Unite Here Local 54 members and their families. After careful analysis, they decided to build, staff and manage their own healthcare facility – providing primary care, physical therapy, chiropractic, mental health, pharmacy and diagnostic services to 22,000 patients - in the heart of Atlantic City.

Seeking to optimize the business and clinical practices of the new state-of-the-art facilities, the client turned to the Continuum Health Alliance to help improve the overall health of their members, while successfully lowering costs.

The Continuum Health team worked hand-in-hand with the enterprise’s physician leadership and Patient Advisory Council to gain a deep understanding of the specific requirements of the union members' and their families.

Among the list of members “must-haves” were flexible hours, shorter waiting times, a multilingual staff and no co-pays. The list of union leadership “must-haves” included improved health of members, increased patient satisfaction and lower overall costs.

Through the successful implementation of Continuum Health’s Practice Management (laying the foundation for Population Health services), the benefits of such an exciting self-funded program are twofold: members and their families enjoy personalized, high-quality healthcare, while any cost savings are returned to union members.

Is this Model Right for Your Organization?

Learn more about the Unite Here Health -- Health Center by downloading the free inside look into the project. To discuss how Continuum can enable improved outcomes for your organization and its members, please contact: Devon Swanson, (856) 782-3300 ext. 2419 or deswanson@challc.net

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Topics: Self-Funded Insurance, population health management, Taft-Hartley, ambulatory care, practice management

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