5 Ways Advocacy Saves You Money
At TouchCare, we have two very clear goals for all our clients:
Make your employees happier by helping alleviate one of their top stressors – healthcare complexities.
Save your employees and you (the employer) money on your healthcare.
Our first goal is easy for us to justify: our 98% member satisfaction score proves that we’re doing a great job here. But for HR & Benefits pros, unlocking budget for added services like TouchCare can be tough. With steadily increasing healthcare costs, employers want to know that value-added services are not only improving employee experience, but also improving the bottom line.
Here are five key ways that both employees and employers save money by using advocacy services:
1. Bill Review & Negotiations
One of the most direct ways that an advocacy service can save money is by reviewing medical bills. Many medical bills include some sort of error. At TouchCare, our data suggests that 50% of all bills we receive from our members are incorrect. Of the 50% that are incorrect, about 60% of the time it is a provider error and 30% of the time it is an error by the insurance company. The other 10% of the time, we’re able to help members negotiate a better price or removal of unnecessary service charges. Including the correct bills, our average savings amount to $568 per interaction.
2. Locating In-Network Providers
There's a difference between finding a doctor who takes your insurance -- and a good doctor who takes your insurance, is close to your home/work, taking new patients, can see you quickly, and fits your specific requirements.
TouchCare weighs multiple factors to find the best doctor for your specific situation. TouchCare also helps you decide the type of care to seek out: Do you need to see a specialist or a PCP? Over reliance on the Emergency Room is dramatically driving up costs.
Beyond that initial visit, TouchCare helps members throughout their entire journey. For example, let's say that the physician (that we referred the member to) then finds that the member needs to get knee surgery. Planning for a big healthcare procedure has a myriad of factors, and members need to be very diligent. That's where TouchCare comes in. In this case, we could help the member:
Find an in-network facility for their procedure
Select in-network surgeon
Confirm that their anesthesiologist was in-network
Schedule the surgery appointment
Negotiate any bills that come after the surgery
Explore multiple cost saving opportunities for Rx prescriptions
Help the member find the most affordable option for PT after the surgery
Going out-of-network for just one of these providers can mean that the member gets slapped with a surprise bill.
On the employer level, we found some impressive savings. With one TouchCare client, a simple 1% increase in-network compliance helped contribute to almost $1M in employer savings -- that's in addition to all of the employee dollars that were saved.
3. Cutting Through System-Fatigue
Currently, the trend for health plans is to build in numerous ancillary services that may be advantageous alternatives to a typical plan interaction. Services like telemedicine, discount drug tools, specific disease management programs, and 2nd opinion programs all help create savings and convenience. These are great additions and can make a mediocre plan much richer.
However, they are only useful if members use them. The majority of the time, members don't know about these benefits, or members get overwhelmed with all the optionality and do not use these benefits at all. By serving as a “traffic cop” or first line of defense for a plan member, an effective advocacy program will help get the member to the best solution and increase utilization across the board.
4. Price Transparency For Services
The cost of services in healthcare varies dramatically. An MRI alone can cost as much as $5,000 or as little as $350. And the cost is not tied to quality. By helping members find high quality, low cost, in-network providers, an effective advocacy program helps reduce unnecessary costs by helping plan members be better consumers of the healthcare system.
The old adage “time is money” still rings true. Everything in our lives is about creating more efficiency. Technology has helped us be more productive in almost every facet of life...except for healthcare!
A white-glove concierge service like TouchCare is designed to take the work off our members’ plates and give them back their time. In fact, our average member reports over 2.5 hours of time saved. That’s time that employees can spend being productive at work or focusing on their family...and not on hold with the insurance company.