SOURCE: Cammack Health LLC

Cammack Health LLC

August 10, 2015 15:33 ET

Cammack Health Releases Tenth Annual Benefits Survey of Hospitals

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - August 10, 2015) - The Tenth Annual Cammack Health Benefits Survey of Hospitals in the Northeast shows that the effects of the 2018 Cadillac Tax are already being felt, with average deductibles skewing higher as hospitals take on more risk in exchange for lower fixed costs. With more than half of respondents vulnerable to the tax in 2018 (assuming a 6% trend and no plan changes), hospitals are taking steps to lower the value of their plans. Mary Clark, Partner at Cammack Health LLC, has this to say: "In the next few year, so-called 'high plans' are in danger of elimination -- 'low' may become the new 'high.' It's likely that FSAs will also not survive the Cadillac Tax -- at least, not in their current form."

Hospitals are using a variety of methods to control costs:

  • 13% of respondents levy a spousal surcharge, charging extra for spouses offered other coverage through their employers. 7% of respondents deny coverage to spouses who are offered coverage through their employers.
  • 48% of respondents are aggressively steering employees to their internal pharmacies. 46% have created a separate tier for specialty drugs, and 25% have moved to 100% copays for non-formulary drugs.
  • Hospitals have responded swiftly to the ACA, upgrading systems and processes. 95% of respondents are tracking the number of hours worked by employees, and 65% of respondents expect to avoid all penalties from the ACA employer mandate.

Narrow networks are becoming more common. Increasingly, hospitals are offering a fourth tier in their plan design: domestic, a select group of hospitals, and traditional in- and out-of- network tiers. More and more, employers are turning to salary-banding as a way to ensure that plan costs for lower-paid employees satisfy ACA requirements.

While adoption of wellness incentives seems to have lost momentum in the face of recent EEOC challenges, more health organizations are turning to health management programs such as ACOs and patient-centered medical homes (PHCMs). A small but growing number are using incentives to steer employees towards such programs.

Participation in the Cammack Health Benefits Survey of Hospitals increased by 25% in 2015, expanding for the first time into Massachusetts and Rhode Island, in addition to New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

The survey itself is only available to participants. Health systems in the survey region can request to participate in the 2016 survey at http://cammackhealth.com/survey; highlights from the 2015 survey are also available for download. For additional information, or to interview one of the authors of the survey, please contact David Goodwin at (646) 839-8242 or dgoodwin@cammackhealth.com.

Cammack Health provides employee benefits and healthcare consulting services to hospital and corporate clients. It is the only firm in the region specializing in hospital benefits consulting.

Cammack Health has a broad and deep experience in building and implementing successful strategies for health systems, health plans, employers, and others who are "at risk" for the cost of health care, serving clients nationwide with a concentration along the East Coast. Core strengths include the partnerships we maintain with clients and a knowledgeable and practical management team with a 98% client retention rate.

The company is dedicated to providing an extraordinary level of customer service through best-in-class programs, technology solutions, and innovative problem solving to create value for our clients and their organizations. Clients look to Cammack Health for expert plan and program design, seamless implementation, and ongoing support and service.

Cammack Health mobilizes organizations to establish, deploy, and continuously improve the successful community/population healthcare model, and is known for turning data to insight and insight to action.

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