HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 12

Becoming
Mindful

Healthcare

By Brian Cote', CEO, 44North

W

hat if the next time you went to buy
a new TV you could go to any store
and pick any TV you want with no worries
over what the cost would be-that's right, no
sticker shock! In a way, isn't that what it's like
when it comes to healthcare? Think about it:
With the tens of thousands of prescriptions
being filled, tests being performed and
procedures occurring daily, has your doctor
ever stopped and said, "Wait, are you worried
what this will cost you?" And truthfully, if you
did ask, the answer would likely be, "What is
your deductible?"
Unfortunately, today many of us are
dealing with escalating medical costs. Our
premiums increase and deductibles are on
the rise as we try to manage healthcare cost.
When this happens, what is a person to do?
Fortunately, we have an abundance of the
best care right here in the United States, so
traveling abroad to save a buck or two isn't
being suggested just yet.
Preventative screenings for important
tests like mammograms and colonoscopies
are covered at 100 percent, which may the
reason the U.S. ranks first in five-year survival
rates for breast cancer and second in survival
rates for colorectal cancer. As good as this
is, wouldn't it be great if you could save over
$2,000 for a follow-up colonoscopy (typically
used for colorectal cancer screenings)?
When this procedure is performed in the
same calendar year, this cost is typically
100 percent allocated to the employee. The
U.S. also ranks second- and third-highest in
MRI and CT exam rate, respectively, in the

world, and yet there can be a $1,000-$3,000
price difference for the same exact elective
test within a 50-mile range in many parts of
the United States. Did you know that right
here in Michigan, you could have the same
test performed right across the street with a
$2,000 difference in price? That's right-the
same test, at times completed by the same
physician, can cost thousands of dollars more
when performed across the street or down

Why do people spend an entire
weekend shopping to save $50
on their next TV, but ignore
hundreds to thousands dollars
worth of price differences on
elective maintenance medical
and prescription needs?
the block.
On top of this, once an employee has met
their deductible, their perception of healthcare
is that it is "free" due to the low and in some
cases non-existent cost passed on to them.
But the cost of "free," when it comes to basic
tests like colonoscopies, can range from
$700-$3,500, with CT scans ranging from
$290-$2,900. What is "free" can cost your
health plan thousands of dollars more the next
time you are up for renewal.
Next take a look at prescriptions. As a
country, over 80 percent of all prescription
utilization is for generic drugs. Since the
passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010,

12 2017 MISHRM State Conference * Oct. 11-13	

generics have seen an increase in price of
over 500 percent, according to Consumer
Reports. As a matter of fact, the second and
third-largest drug sales by volume, Lipitor and
Plavix can have a cost difference of over ten
times for the exact same drug and dosage at
competing retail pharmacies within a 50-mile
radius, costing $100 per fill (thousands of
dollars annually) in unnecessary excess
spending.
Why do people spend an entire weekend
shopping to save $50 on their next TV, but
ignore hundreds to thousands dollars worth
of price differences on elective maintenance
medical and prescription needs? We should
challenge ourselves to create a mindset of a
healthcare consumer (vs. a healthcare user)
and become mindful of what things cost, as
many of the most basic healthcare benefits
can have a broad range of charges.
Fortunately, with the substantial rise
in healthcare costs often leading to more
expenses born by employees, insurance
carriers are starting to recognize the financial
burden and are offering online pricing
assistance. While these tools allow us to
shop medical expenses like we'd shop a TV,
many of the results are estimates rather than
actual costs and come with the added burden
of employees having to navigate additional
websites, with many questions not being
answered. Partnering with a benefits provider
that can provide a real-time solution results
in preserving your employee's paycheck can
go a long way in making your business'
bottom line healthier.
■

All information including registration is online at: www.mishrmconference.org


http://www.mishrmconference.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Connections Michigan 2017

Save the Date – “HRevolution”
Welcome Message
Frequently Asked Questions/Sponsors List
Don’t Manage Your Millennials: Coach Them!
Support the SHRM Foundation
Becoming Mindful Healthcare Consumers
Employment Law: 5 Little-Known, But Important, Updates
Why Being “Authentic” is Nonsense
The HR Department of the New Millennium
Index of Advertisers/Advertisers.com
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Intro
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover1
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover2
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Save the Date – “HRevolution”
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 4
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 5
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Welcome Message
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Frequently Asked Questions/Sponsors List
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Don’t Manage Your Millennials: Coach Them!
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 9
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 10
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Support the SHRM Foundation
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Becoming Mindful Healthcare Consumers
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Employment Law: 5 Little-Known, But Important, Updates
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 14
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Why Being “Authentic” is Nonsense
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - The HR Department of the New Millennium
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 17
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Index of Advertisers/Advertisers.com
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover3
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover4
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