KANSAS CITY, April 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 400,000 Kansas City-area employees and their dependents benefitted from access to better health information and services focused on prevention, health risk reduction and earlier treatment of chronic disease as a result of the Kansas City Collaborative (KC2). At an employer summit today, Pfizer Inc, the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care (MACHC) and the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) launched the American Health Strategy Project (AHSP) Employer Guide for employers nationally based on the experience of KC2. The three-year value based benefit project involving 15 area employers, led by the non-profit MACHC and supported by Pfizer, helped employers develop, implement, and maintain a health strategy that improves employees' health and stabilizes health care cost trends.
The AHSP Employer Guide is being made available to other employers in the Kansas City area and nationally to support health care benefit design that improves employee wellness, and reduces long term costs to employers from chronic disease. The Guide website includes the tools, lessons learned and case studies from the project.
"A key challenge for employers is getting their arms around, understanding and acting on their workforce health data, which is found in a range of internal and external silos," said William Bruning, president of MACHC. "Value based benefit strategies have been proven to work for select 'jumbo' employers. Through this project we've been able to translate these approaches into the world of mid- and large-sized employers, helping them change the way they address health and chronic disease in their benefit programs – improving employee wellness and ultimately health care costs."
After reviewing and understanding trends in their specific workforce data and the research on best practices as part of the KC2 project, all of the participating Kansas City-area employers changed the design of their benefits during the demonstration project to better align incentives with desired behavior that decreases health risks, promotes use of preventive care and fosters improved employee health. Benefit design changes largely focused on covering the "right things" for the health risks most common for employees and their dependents, including preventive screenings and health behavior changes. The full results and estimated costs savings of the employers participating in the KC2 project will be released in June.
"Pfizer wants to see more health care consumers manage care at a lower cost by treating illness or disease early," said Robyn Peters, vice president of U.S. payers & national accounts, Pfizer. "We are sharing what we have learned from the success in Kansas City, through the AHSP Employer Guide, launched today, to help Pfizer and other coalitions support employers around the country in making positive improvements to health care benefits."
Replicating Kansas City's success across the U.S.
Due to the success of the Kansas City Collaborative, the program has now expanded to assist employers in other U.S. communities with the many health care challenges faced today through the American Health Strategy Project, a program of NBCH, also supported by Pfizer. The following NBCH member-coalitions are working with local employers to take a strategic approach to value based benefits: Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health, Midwest Business Group on Health, Oregon Coalition of Health Care Purchasers, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health and Virginia Business Coalition on Health.
The AHSP Employer Guide has been developed to further assist employers in developing, implementing, and maintaining a health strategy that improves employees' health and stabilizes health care cost trends. The tools, templates and lessons learned are being made available through the Guide which can be accessed from NBCH's website [http://www.nbch.org/].
Kansas City Collaborative
"Participating in the Kansas City Collaborative helped us bring together the right partners – both inside and outside Sprint – to take a more coordinated approach to addressing our workforce health risks," said Collier W. Case, director Health and Productivity, Sprint. "The collaborative process and the KC2 tools helped us set goals and get a clear focus on immediate steps we could take to address cardio-metabolic syndrome, one of the most prevalent health risks among our employees."
Participating employers in the Kansas City Collaborative:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Century Investments
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
- BlueScope Steel NA
- Cerner Corporation
- Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics
- City of Kansas City, Missouri
- H&R Block Inc.
- Hallmark Cards Inc.
- JE Dunn Construction Group
- Kansas State Employee Health Benefit Plan
- Lockton Companies
- Saint Luke's Health System
- The University of Kansas Hospital Authority
About the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care
The Mid-America Coalition on Health Care is one of the oldest and largest health care business coalitions in the country, representing over 400,000 covered lives. MACHC is an employer-driven, non-profit collaboration of all health care stakeholders in the bi-state Kansas City region, seeking to improve the health and wellness of employees, their families and their community, and to develop strategies to reduce health care costs. Members include major employers, health plans, physicians, hospitals, brokers and consultants, academic institutions, public health, government, and pharmaceutical companies. www.MACHC.org
About the National Business Coalition on Health
NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of 53 purchaser-led business and health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. www.nbch.org.
About Pfizer Inc
Pfizer applies its science and global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. Consistent with Pfizer's responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer also collaborates with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on the company. www.pfizer.com.
SOURCE Mid-America Coalition on Health Care; National Business Coalition on Health