WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Health systems evaluating their delivery system reform options are finding success in programs that focus on improving the health of their own workforce, according to a new white paper published today by Evolent Health.
Building off of the accountable care movement that is dramatically changing the health system landscape, Evolent Health has identified the unique value of the employee accountable care organization (eACO)—a network of coordinated care specifically focused on improving the health of a hospital's employee population. Evolent Health is a management services population health company that integrates the technology, tools and on-the-ground resources to support health systems in executing on their population health and care transformation objectives.
"The eACO gives health systems a proof-of-concept opportunity in a controlled environment, as they begin to explore what works and what doesn't when it comes to accountable care," said Eric Parmenter, vice president of Employer Services, Evolent Health, and the paper's author. Moreover, according to Parmenter, hospitals and health systems are a target-rich environment for lowering costs and improving health because the costs associated with employee health benefits are higher.
Health data comparisons show that employees in the healthcare industry have higher instances of obesity, smoking, chronic disease, and stress-related illnesses than the average employee in America. Additionally, data show the cost of providing benefits to healthcare employees and their families is $11,651 per employee, per year,  compared to an average annual benefit cost of $10,475 for large companies from all industries. 
In 2004, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) successfully implemented an ACO-like model when it launched MyHealth, a population health management program equipped with a full suite of wellness offerings aimed at employees and dependents. Within two years, more than 90 percent of employees had actively engaged in the program, and the five-year compounded savings for UPMC over industry benchmarks exceeds $65 million. Evolent Health is currently working with UPMC to bring its successful model to health systems across the nation.
"The eACO is a win-win for health systems and their employees," said Evolent Health's Parmenter. "Tackling population health for employees through the eACO will not only help a system get to scale on health management capabilities quicker, but also improve the health of its workers, lowers benefits costs and increase productivity."
Visit Evolent Health's website to read the full white paper.
About Evolent Health
Evolent Health is a provider of population and health plan management capabilities. The platform integrates people, process and technology to work together in driving measurable results and near-term return to health systems that are migrating toward value-based care reimbursement models. Evolent's platform is designed as an all-payer solution allowing health systems to manage patient populations from any payer or value-based care initiative, including Commercial, managed Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, the Medicare shared savings program and other similar initiatives. For more information, please visit www.evolenthealth.com.
 2012 SullivanCotter/HighRoads Survey of Employee Benefit Practices in Hospitals and Health Systems.
 Average Cost of U.S. Health Coverage per Employee is Expected to Cross the $10,000 Threshold for the First Time in 2012, According to Aon Hewitt. Aon Hewitt Health Benefit Cost Press Release. October 3, 2011. Available from: www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/average-cost-of-us-health-coverage-per-employee-is-expected-to-cross-the-10000-threshold-for-the-first-time-in-2012-according-to-aon-hewitt-130847468.html.
SOURCE Evolent Health