Addressing Top Cost Conditions: Cardiac Conditions

Learn how employers can lower cardiac care costs through programs and initiatives.

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March 31, 2021

According to the 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey, 39% of surveyed employers say cardiac conditions are among their top three health care cost trend drivers. Cardiac conditions include hypertension, heart attacks, strokes and other circulatory problems.

Employers can consider the following strategies to improve the quality of care delivered to employees with cardiac conditions. With cardiac conditions, prevention is key – employers can avert these costs by helping employees avoid these conditions altogether.

  • 1 | Reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for antihypertensive medications on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Preventive Drug List.
  • 2 | Cover automatic home blood pressure monitors and provider visits on how to use home monitors.
  • 3 | Adopt value-based insurance design to encourage employees to seek care at high-value providers, including Centers of Excellence (COE).
  • 4 | Offer a COE program for complex cardiac procedures. Cover travel and accommodations, if possible.
  • 5 | Provide a virtual second opinion program for employees pursuing cardiac surgery. Offer an incentive to employees if possible.
  • 6 | Help employees manage or eliminate their hypertension by offering a “heart healthy” program.
  • 7 | In recognition of the relationship between cardiac conditions and diabetes, offer a diabetes prevention program that can help reduce the risk of diabetes and/or help employees manage their diabetes.
  • 8 | Prevent cardiac conditions from occurring by:
  • Providing organized individual or group physical activity programs, giving flexibility to employees to participate during the workday;
  • Offering virtual physical activity programs to encourage employees working at home or during off-hours to stay active;
  • Providing environmental supports, like a walking trail or treadmill desk, to help people be more physically active at the worksite; and
  • Offering a wide variety of healthy foods in on-site facilities and using incentive pricing and messaging to nudge employees toward heart-healthy foods, such as dark leafy greens, whole grains, berries, nuts and beans.

To learn more about these strategies, view the playback video below from the Business Group’s virtual learning series on Addressing Top Cost Conditions, featuring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Million Hearts Program and The Kroger Co. Additionally, more extensive resources can be found to the right.

Duration 32 minutes

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