WIHI: Employers and Employees Can Improve Quality and Lower Costs: Stories from the Front Lines, Part 1

Date: February 7, 2013


  • Trissa Torres, MD, MSPH, Senior Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Xavier Sevilla, MD, MBA, FAAP, Vice President of Clinical Quality for Physician Services, Catholic Health Initiatives
  • Lindsay A. Martin, MSPH, Executive Director and Improvement Advisor, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Randy Van Straten, Vice President Business Health, Bellin Health; Executive Director Bellin Run

US employers have had a lot to say about health care costs the past several years. Large and small companies alike have openly complained about the apparently inexorable rise in health care spending, skyrocketing insurance rates, and the degree to which both trends have threatened bottom lines, restrained wages, and eroded benefits for employees.

Some of the most vocal businesses have been determined to remedy the situation by exercising their purchasing clout to get better deals from insurers and by shifting more costs and co-pays onto the workforce. The most enlightened have also ramped up their wellness programs. But these “solutions” are short-term at best, and efforts to encourage employees to get to the gym and adopt healthier lifestyles are proving insufficient. So, what to do instead?

This WIHI discusses what promises to be the next wave of employer engagement in improving health and controlling health care costs in the US. This involves taking a deeper dive into the underlying, often chronic health conditions affecting today’s employees. And, in a growing number of cases, partnering and learning from health care delivery organizations working on the very same issues — heavy health care utilization and high costs — with their own staff.

WIHI host Madge Kaplan welcomes IHI’s Trissa Torres and Lindsay Martin, who have the big picture of these exciting new developments. Also joining the discussion are leaders from Bellin Health Care Systems, Catholic Health Initiatives, and other places that are “walking the talk” with their own employees. Among other things, these providers are redesigning systems to deliver better care and better value to the community and all those paying the bills: employers, public and private insurers, and patients themselves.



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