June 5, 2018

Have you been tasked with cutting costs and don't know where to start?

The hardest part of any task is getting started. Ask any writer, and they’ll tell you that they spent a large chunk of their time staring at a blank screen. But once they get an outline and an intro on the page, the writing starts to move more quickly because the most challenging part is already accomplished: taking action.

It’s the same with addressing the high cost of employee benefits. You might be overwhelmed on how to approach expenses without eliminating programs that employees love. Or maybe you don’t know how to tackle your budget because it’s daunting. We think you need a little help. Don’t worry. Artemis has your back. Let’s take a look at a few areas you can find those hidden savings for your company.

Identify Key Metrics

Choosing the right metrics and ensuring the data is timely is a crucial step to finding useful conclusions. Artemis helped one customer find savings by looking at their out-of-network spending. When your members use out-of-network providers, your costs, and theirs, rise. And these costs are often preventable. After our client found out that their employees were using an out of network dialysis treatment center, it helped them focus both on network steerage and ensure their network is meeting members’ needs.

Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit

A lot of time, the most straightforward solution might be under your nose. You know that your members are visiting the emergency room for injuries and illnesses that can be treated at an urgent care center, onsite clinic or primary care office. On average, the rate for a regular office visit (and some urgent centers bill as office visits) totals $150. If your member decided to visit the emergency room instead, the same outcome could cost $1500. Working with your benefits provider to offer better messaging around avoidable ER visits can result in big savings without impacting the quality of care.

Engage An Expert

Sometimes you need an expert. Whether it’s a consultant or data partner, these benefits pros can find savings in unexpected places. Working with a pharmacy expert can help you better engage with your Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) and assist you with asking tough questions. PBMs can be intimidating, and they’re not necessarily incentivized to pass savings (like drug manufacturer rebates or discounts) to your organization. But knowing what to look for and what to ask can create an opportunity for your PBM to minimize your Rx spending. Aim to have your PBM adjust your formulary—a list of approved drugs in your prescription plan—to eliminate costly medicines or replace them with less expensive generic alternatives that are just as effective for your employees.

We know cutting costs is essential, but so is having a reliable and effective benefits program. If you don't know where to start, then these are some significant first steps to take. Now all you need to do is take action.

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