LYNDHURST, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vitals today released the 2017 Book of Business report, which measures the shopping activity and saving achieved by employers and employees using its Vitals SmartShopper program.
SmartShopper delivers a multi-channel health care shopping experience that allows consumers to shop and choose better value medical care via the web or phone. What’s more, the program pays employees cash rewards when they select health-smart and wallet-wise providers.
To date, price elasticity has played a minor role in health care compared with other goods and services. But Vitals SmartShopper changes the economics of health care spending. Since 2014, the program has reduced health care costs for employers by $40 million, giving back $4.6 million in cash rewards to employees. About $15 million was saved in 2016 alone.
SmartShopper succeeds by creating active shoppers with cash rewards, not just “window browsers.” Nearly two-thirds of SmartShopper members who shop choose a better value provider for their medical service.
Responding to a survey, SmartShopper members said the program essentially pays them money for medical services they would have had regardless. In fact, 97 percent of the respondents said they would recommend the service to friends and colleagues.
“Cash is a powerful and important incentive for employees,” said Rob Graybill, Vice President of SmartShopper Product & Sales Strategy. “It not only helps them cover services that may have out-of-pocket costs, reducing the burden of seeking care in the first place, but it also rewards them for reducing the organization’s overall costs.”
Health Care Is Shoppable
According to the Health Care Cost Institute, about 47 percent of health care services for commercially insured people are considered shoppable. These are procedures and medical services where consumers can evaluate one offering relative to another and, given choices with different prices, can choose a better value provider without great risk or inconvenience.
This is especially true for medical services and products that have little to no difference between them. For example, an MRI is pretty much the same procedure, regardless of where it’s performed.
Over the past three years, the bulk of savings generated were from routine procedures, such as blood work and imaging services and specialty infusion drugs. Another large area of savings is from preventative exams, physical therapy and elective surgeries that help improve quality of life.
CHART: TOP PROCEDURES BY TOTAL SAVINGS
|Procedure||Three Year Totals|
“Beyond routine care, SmartShopper incentivizes people to do what’s best for their health,” said Graybill. “Rewarding employees to have timely preventative screenings and maintenance care they need can improve employee health and save lives.
Vitals empowers everyone to shop for their health care like an expert. We bring together cost and quality transparency along with innovative consumer engagement programs to help people select high-quality, lower-cost care. Vitals leads the market with incentive and engagement programs that pay people to shop. Our solutions achieve measurable and sustainable savings for consumers, employers and health plans. Vitals helps more than 120 million people each year access better, more affordable care.