IHC FORUM Opening Session Guides Innovative Companies on “The Journey to HealthCare Consumerism”

ATLANTA, Feb 1, 2012—Health and benefits spend is arguably the No.1 challenge U.S. employers face. As medical costs rise and health care legislation remains in flux, forward-thinking corporations are opting to cut expenses by putting health care decision making into the hands of their employees. The opening session of the Institute for HealthCare Consumerism’s (IHC) FORUM East conference, “The Journey to HealthCare Consumerism,” will provide a roadmap for companies navigating the new health and benefits landscape. Led by industry experts Ron Bachman and Dr. Wendy Lynch, the session begins at 9:15 a.m. on April 12 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.

In contrast to traditional “one-size-fits-all” health plans, health care consumerism programs engage employees in the health and benefits planning process, affording them greater opportunity to choose plans suited to their individual needs. The emergence of health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts and wellness incentive programs is evidence that consumer-directed health care is on the rise. The IHC FORUM’s opening general session promises to provide direction to businesses embarking on health care consumerism plans for the first time, as well as those more experienced with consumer-driven solutions.

Dr. Lynch, co-director for the Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care at the Altarum Institute, researches health and benefit arrangements that encourage high employee performance, and result in mutual gain for corporations and their workforce. She will co-lead the session with Mr. Bachman, a senior fellow at the Center for Health Transformation, president of Healthcare Visions and a member of the IHC’s advisory board. The two will share valuable insights into the current state of health care consumerism, cost-effective plan design and implementation tips, and strategies to engage and educate employee consumers.

“When employees become better consumers,” says Dr. Lynch, “they not only save money for the company, but also for themselves.” In addition to coaching attendees on setting up win-win, incentive-rich scenarios for their employees, Dr. Lynch will advise companies on the importance of being transparent with workers regarding health care expenses. When employees realize that cost-efficient, consumer-driven plans can result in higher take-home pay, they are much more likely to be amenable to changes in their health and benefits programs.  

“The Journey to HealthCare Consumerism” is one of five general sessions the IHC FORUM East conference offers. Other sessions include:

– Health Care Reform: A Potential Pothole on the Journey to HealthCare Consumerism

– Employer Panel: What HealthCare Consumerism Means to You

– Population Health Management Multi Stakeholder Panel

– Health Care Provider Panel

To learn more about the conference or to register, visit www.theihccforum.com.

The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism’s FORUM East and FORUM West are the only national events 100 percent dedicated to innovative health and benefits management. Through 24 cutting-edge workshops, five general sessions and numerous networking opportunities, attendees get relevant insights from industry thought leaders and policymakers on how to cut costs, engage employees and comply with current health care laws. FORUM-goers also have an unprecedented opportunity to learn from peers who have successfully adopted health care consumerism programs. The FORUM allows HR professionals, brokers, consultants and health plan administrators to share leading practices, exchange ideas and arrive at real, implementable solutions.

Rochelle Porter