It's an established fact: High health care costs are hurting employers and employees. For years, employers tried to curb their spend by implementing consumer-driven strategies, often with the opposite consequences. "As we evolve as companies to really wrap resources around our employees, we're realizing that our focus on consumerism or what was consumerism, didn't really pan out the way we hoped it would," Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, said in a recent webinar. " As much as we would like consumers to be sophisticated purchasers of health care, the system is too fragmented."

Instead, more employers and their benefits partners are trying a new strategy, or rather, series of strategies, changing the way health care is provided and paid for. "There's a confluence of energy around looking at alternative ways to pay for health care," said Suzanne Delbanco of Catalyst for Payment Reform, a non-profit offering thought-leadership for health care reform strategies and host of the webinar, "Are Disruptive Health Care Purchasing Strategies Becoming the New Normal?"

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is director, content analytics for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.