Are Purchasers Now The Ones With the Vision?

John Marcille

It's not just about wellness anymore. As our cover story shows, for the last three years, employers have been doing much more to improve worker health than simply offering an on-site weight-reduction program (not that there's anything wrong with that).

As we were going to press, a Hewitt Associates study made ripples in the mainstream media. "Nineteen percent of firms installed performance-based medication offerings, waiving copayments for prescription drugs that are proved to be effective and paying a premium for employees to go to higher-rated treatment providers," CNBC reported.

After all, wellness programs, which one expert told us cost about 1 percent of premium to install, are not without drawbacks. "Some employees may resent the [wellness] programs, viewing them as examples of 'father-knows-best' intrusiveness," said the New York Times.

Meanwhile, health plans might be too reticent in this area. Our article by Managing Editor Frank Diamond asks what insurers are missing out on by taking only a spectator's interest in attempts by employers to improve clinical outcomes. Employers know that insurers can participate. For one thing, they have mounds of data that would enhance such efforts, and they trust plans more than they trust providers.

Suzanne Delbanco, the CEO of the Leapfrog Group, touts its Hospital Rewards Program, which rewards hospitals on how they deliver care in five clinical areas. "Additionally, these scores can be incorporated into health plans' existing performance-based incentive and reward programs," she says. "The program is engineered by Leapfrog, with the input of a vast array of providers and health plans, but designed to be implemented by health plans and employers in specific markets." Again: Health plans and employers.

Career Opportunities

HAP, a subsidiary of Henry Ford Health System, is a nonprofit health plan providing coverage to individuals, companies and organizations. This executive develops strategies to meet membership and revenue targets through products, pricing, market segmentation and advertising.  Aligns business among Business Development, Commercial Sales, Medicare and Public Sector Programs and Product Development. Seeks to enhance and be responsible for business development and expansion through the development of an effective product portfolio, strong interpersonal relationships and service excellence.

Apply via email to or online at

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Monthly table of contents

Be notified as each issue of Managed Care is available online.

Biweekly newsletter

Recent topics have included:

PTCommunity news

New drug approvals, clinical trials, drug management. Three times per week.


Managed Care
By Peter Wehrwein
Managed Care
By Howard Wolinsky