Rewarding patients for cheaper care
In the continuing effort to make the cost of healthcare more transparent, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care recently announced a new program which they hope to roll out to Massachusetts members called SaveOn. This program provides cash rewards ranging from $10 to $75 for members that seek lower cost care for non-emergency outpatient procedures such as colonoscopies, MRI and CT scans, mammograms, lab work, bone density studies and ultrasounds. Members can call a toll-free number and to speak to a nurse who informs them of any lower cost plan providers in their area. In the event they are already scheduled to receive service from a lower cost provider, the member will be rewarded with $10 for making the call. If the result of the call is to directing them to a lower cost provider the reward could be as high $75. Potential savings on colonoscopies could be as high as $1,700 and mammograms can vary in cost as much as $285.
The savings that will come from the new SaveOn plan will be lower out-of-pocket costs for members with high-deductible plans, as well as lower renewal increases for the employer. Similar to what we have seen in the past with rewarding members for taking a health risk assessment, hopefully the ‘show me the money’ concept will help reduce health costs.
About the Author
Michael Moran is a Senior Vice President at WGA in the Employee Benefits Group, specializing in health and welfare insurance programs for WGA clients.