Healthcare Cost Checkup

Paying for Health Care - No Outcome, No Income

11/01/2019 | Joe Martin

Dr. David Nash, founding dean emeritus of the Thomas Jefferson University College for Population Health, has contributed a great public service by serving as the voluntary chairman of the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council’s technical advisory group for more than 20 years. As I’ve been reflecting about PHC4’s work over the past year, I was recalling one of Dr. Nash’s favored sayings: “No outcome, no income.” What does this mean for our work, and why is it relevant for the business community?

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The Value Proposition of the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council

08/01/2019 | Joe Martin

Many years ago, I was talking with the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council’s Interim Director at the time, Cliff Jones, about how best to communicate PHC4’s value. Cliff told me that he believed people wanted to know three things: first, is the work of high quality; second, if it is useful; and third, who cares about it? I often reflect back on that conversation.

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Understanding Health Care Costs and Provider Engagement

05/01/2019 | Joe Martin

Recently, I addressed the Central PA Business Group on Health at the invitation of their Executive Director, Diane Hess. The CPBGH was founded in 1984 by a group of employers concerned about the cost and quality of healthcare benefits. The organization operates as an independent, non-profit affiliate of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, with a focus on serving employers based in Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties.

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Health Care Costs and Quality in Pennsylvania — Highs and Lows

02/01/2019 | Joe Martin

As the new year gets underway, it is often a time for reflection, and it occurs to me that among many others, there are two particularly valuable assets to the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council: the agency’s Hospital Performance Report; and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, FACP, the long time (20 years) chairman of PHC4’s esteemed Technical Advisory Group and founding dean of the Thomas Jefferson University School for Population Health. It is important to note that a third has been the unwavering of support of the PA Chamber of Business and Industry for the work of PHC4. 

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Lowering Employer Costs by Encouraging Healthy Behaviors

11/01/2018 | Joe Martin

The value of having healthy employees is indisputable. Healthy people use less medical care, disability benefits and worker’s compensation. They have increased productivity and decreased absenteeism. For many health plans, it is estimated that a staggering 60 to 70 percent of costs are due to conditions related to modifiable personal health behaviors, such as physical inactivity, poor diets, smoking and problem drinking.

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The Opioid Crisis and the Workplace

08/01/2018 | Joe Martin

The opioid crisis in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States is tragic, and has often been described as the greatest health epidemic in modern history. And it is very costly; to families, communities and the economy. The opioid crisis also has a significant impact in two areas not frequently focused on in the media: the workplace and the workforce. Not only is it devastating American families and communities, it's degrading America’s workforce, with the labor force participation rate down 4 percentage points since 2000 despite an increasing population.

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The Financial and Personal Impact of Healthcare Associated Infections

05/01/2018 | Joe Martin

On March 1, 2018, PHC4 released a new research brief on Clostridium difficile infections (known as C.diff or CDI) and their link to hospital admissions in Pennsylvania. Why should the business community care about this? Because such infections are preventable and cost a great deal of money to treat.

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