Narrow networks of health care providers offer new ways for employers and health plans to control the costs of care.  But many of these networks are being constructed without regard to the value they deliver, said Scott Wallace during last week’s Benefits Forum & Expo in Boca Raton, Fla.  Wallace is a visiting professor at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and a leading expert in the emerging fields of employee health strategy and chronic disease care design. 

“Value is the health improvement achieved for the costs.  It’s easy to measure what health care costs,” said Wallace.  “But the bigger question is, ‘What are you getting for the money you are spending?’”  Noting that the cost of employees’ poor health trumps – by three to seven times – the cost of their health care benefits, Wallace cautioned employers and their health plans to focus on the health outcomes achieved for the medical conditions suffered by employees.

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