ment will increase by about 10%. Whenever the Board of Directors and share-holders make an investment, particularly one that increases at this rate, they want to know what UPS will receive for the additional investment. Will the workforce be 10% healthier? Will customer satisfaction increase by 10%? Will the investment somehow add to the bottom line of the enterprise or add to the public good? Or will the additional dollars simply be spent with no return?
As we move toward a consumer-driven health care system, information must become available to the consumer, and not just to the purchaser or clinician. The information must support effective health care decision making at all levels of the system. A current concern is that treatment for the same clinical condition varies widely, raising several questions: If providers receive a similar education and read the same articles in the professional journals, why is there so much treatment variation within the system? Should employers provide coverage and benefits for all variations?
Purchasers are looking for ways to promote and improve quality in providers. Although they are willing to change their contracts to support this goal, they have not yet found effective models.
It has been said that employers are not willing to pay for quality in health care, but this is not the case. Purchasers are willing to differentiate and pay more for quality care because high-quality care saves money in the long run by improving satisfaction and performance in our workforce. Purchasers are looking for ways to promote and improve quality in providers. Although they are willing to change their contracts to support this goal, they have not yet found effective models.
Gregg Lehman, Ph.D.
President and Corporate Executive Officer
National Business Coalition on Health
The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), on behalf of its nearly 90 employer-led coalitions nationwide and their 8,000 employers and approximately 30 million covered lives, recognize the outstanding clinical research that has taken place to date. Therapeutic investigations, especially in the area of pharmaceutical products, have made the U.S.A. the leader in the development of new drugs and medical devices. Many of these products have resulted in a healthier and more productive workforce for purchasers. We are pleased that current therapeutic interventions are largely focused on the those conditions identified in the Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine, 2001) that account for about 80% of health care spending