Innovative healthcare benefits tackle labor shortages in the supply chain

The Great Resignation, or what some pundits call the Eternal Resignation, shows no signs of abating and labor shortages are affecting most industries, including the supply chain.

In the third quarter of 2020, turnover rates jumped. Truckload carriers with more than $30 million in annual revenue had turnover rates of 92%, while rates for smaller carriers were as high as 74%, according to the American Trucking Associations.

And the latest data shows the shortage is expected to hit an all-time high of more than 80,000 drivers last year.

Turnover is, in part, attributed to employees leaving for other companies that offer more attractive compensation and benefits.

According to a Hire Right survey, 27% of truckers leave their jobs for companies that offer better benefits.

For an industry that is expected to reach $12.68 billion by 2023, it is essential that employers begin to seek innovative solutions that will attract and retain employees, support business growth and ensure long-term profitability. .

Musculoskeletal claims, accidents at work resulting in health costs

When it comes to providing employee benefits, supply chain companies face unique challenges for their industry.

When you consider the nature of the work (exposure to whole-body vibration in trucks, sitting for long periods of time, and bending, twisting, and carrying heavy loads), it’s no surprise that employees are at greater risk. high back and joint pain, and other chronic and progressive musculoskeletal conditions that lead to missed workdays, lost productivity and high healthcare costs.

Among heavy-duty truck and tractor-trailer drivers, there were 47,990 cases of non-fatal injuries and illnesses that required days off work in 2019, according to a recent report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. United. Of these, sprains, strains, tears, aches and pains were among the leading causes.

Recent data shows that the incidence rate of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the transportation and warehousing industry was 77.1 in 2018.

Truckers, and long-haul truckers in particular, are forced to deal with constant fatigue, stress, isolation and loneliness and have high rates of depression. Chronic illnesses such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea are also common among this employee population.

Innovative healthcare benefits are key for supply chain companies to retain employees and control healthcare spending

Since supply chain companies operate on low margins, any attrition affects their bottom line. Additionally, word of mouth is strong in the industry, so offering great benefits is key to attracting and retaining employees, improving a company’s reputation and culture, and allowing employees to feel valued. ‘they are valuable members of the team.

Innovative health benefits that go beyond just health insurance are often more important to employees than compensation, signing bonuses, referrals, incentives and other perks.

Additionally, in an industry plagued by a high incidence of MSK-related claims, injuries and chronic illnesses, and associated healthcare costs, controlling costs for employers and their employees is a priority.

In 2019 and 2020, major employers cite musculoskeletal issues, including lower back pain and knee and hip replacements, as the top condition driving healthcare costs, according to the Business Group’s annual survey on Health.

Although surgery may be indicated in some cases, it is often unnecessary and can lead to surgical complications, chronic pain, and hospital readmissions, all of which lead to healthcare costs.

In fact, surgeries account for 49% of inpatient spending and overtreatment waste between $75.7 billion and $101.2 billion a year in the United States, a 2019 study in JAMA found.

As a result, employers are looking for new solutions, with 1 in 3 large companies saying they are developing a more targeted strategy to handle high cost claims.

Supply chain companies looking to tackle high musculoskeletal healthcare spending should target unnecessary surgeries with a value-based National Healthcare and Centers of Excellence (COE) solution with bundled payments .

These programs negotiate preferential rates with providers who have been selected on specific quality criteria and encourage them to offer the most appropriate care, in particular by recommending non-surgical and less invasive treatments such as injections and physiotherapy.

However, when surgery is needed, all the services a patient needs are bundled into one upfront payment, providing simple cost savings and an immediate return on investment.

Some COE solutions may also include a warranty that covers all related care for a predetermined period of time. Since most complications and hospital readmissions occur within the first month of surgery, the guarantee incentivizes providers to deliver the best possible outcome every time.

By offering flat rates for end-to-end care associated with specific procedures and costly terms, bundled payments deliver pre-negotiated cost savings.

Employees benefit from these cost savings because out-of-pocket expenses, including copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, are reduced or eliminated, which also promotes employee loyalty and retention.

A 2021 study published by RAND Corporation in Health Affairs found that applying bundled payments to orthopedic and surgical procedures avoided 30% of unnecessary surgeries, and for necessary surgeries there was an 80% reduction. % of readmissions and 45% savings per procedure.

Often delivered through a health plan or third-party provider, these solutions improve patient experience and health outcomes by connecting users to top performing physicians and encouraging appropriate care.

By eliminating unnecessary, inappropriate and redundant care and treatment and prioritizing quality care, costs are reduced not just for the episode of care, but for the patient’s overall healthcare journey.

About Evelyn C. Heim

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