HR and benefits leaders are managing multiple narrowly focused, condition-specific benefits solutions and actively seeking benefit consolidation opportunities. Findings from Summus’ 2023 Survey Report indicate that comprehensive, virtual solutions for care are needed to accelerate access to leading specialists and account for employees’ or members’ personal preferences.
Most HR leaders are looking to consolidate benefits offerings. This is largely because the typical benefits team manages about 46 benefit vendors and 49 condition-specific point solutions. While 86% of benefits leaders are satisfied with their current healthcare and medical benefits, 74% of HR leaders are actively planning to consolidate employee benefits in the coming year, with some HR leaders implementing new benefits to facilitate consolidation in 2024.
At the same time, HR leaders want healthcare benefits that are high quality, affordable, and easy for employees to use. They also want solutions that are simple to integrate and implement.
When it comes to employees, 63% of HR leaders are focused on identifying solutions that provide access to high quality specialists and 50% are focused on ensuring specialty care solutions are affordable for employees. More than 42% of HR leaders indicate ease of use and integration as key factors in the selection of new benefits.
Today’s benefits strategies reveal a gap in benefits that deliver specialty care that extends beyond what an employee’s primary care provider or general practitioner can provide. Of those organizations that offer a specialty care benefit, less than half of HR leaders are satisfied with the quality (45%), breadth of access to a variety of medical specialists (43%), and cost (35%) of the narrowly focused point solution.
The survey finds that company size and type impact satisfaction with specialty care offerings. The larger the organization, the lower the HR leaders’ ratings for specialty care benefits across all industries. Companies with more than 5,000 employees and fewer than 15,000 report lower ratings for quality, access to a variety of specialists, and affordability. These findings are further exacerbated for publicly owned companies.
With increasing workloads and managing nearly 50 disparate solutions, HR leaders want benefits that are easy to implement and seamlessly integrate within their existing ecosystem and infrastructure. Likewise, benefits should be easy for employees to use and access, so that they can reap all the benefits that lead to better health outcomes, productivity, and engagement.
HR leaders further understand that employees want to have a choice in the selection of a specialist. Virtual specialty care that addresses the continuum of care with deep networks of specialists affords opportunities for choice, including choice of specialists based on ethnic, cultural, and linguistic attributes.
One-third of organizations surveyed were publicly owned large companies and those in health services do not currently provide virtual specialty care to their employees. However, in the next year, more than eight in 10 HR leaders are likely to consider a virtual specialty care solution that can support all their employees, regardless of condition or demographic.