Generally, employers have relied on health care products from intermediaries that aren't necessarily incentivized to meet their associates' needs, even as costs keep rising.

More innovative employers are realizing that directly contracting with health systems can reap long-term rewards for high quality, value-based care. Better yet, forging these relationships is not as daunting as you may think.

In fact, in 2019, 11% of employers reported having some form of direct-to-provider arrangement, and 22% said they were planning to offer some form of it by the end of 2020.

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