WyBCH is a 501(c)3 dedicated to educating and engaging the business community across the state on issues relating to healthcare financing, cost structure and quality. The main objective is to raise the visibility, viability and sophistication of conversations between employers — who are the ultimate payers — and those who deliver and influence the delivery of care.
With just over a half-million people Wyoming spends over $4 billion on healthcare each year. Costs in Wyoming grew 129% between 2000 and 2007 – the fastest in the country. Those employers philosophically committed to providing healthcare benefits continue to do so while feeling more than a bit victimized by an industry that says, “Take it or leave it.” Unfortunately, a growing number of employers are choosing to leave it, to drop coverage altogether, or to shift a greater share of the costs to their employees. To stem the growing tide of uninsured and under-insured we must start holding the healthcare system accountable for the cost and quality of services.
We believe business leaders, who do not get elected, but who need a healthy, highly productive workforce to produce a solid bottom line, are in a position to affect system change.
Using both negotiation and collaboration with the delivery system, Wyoming businesses can start to pay for appropriate outcomes rather than ineffective services. We can find ways reward those who provide high quality bundled services designed to treat entire episodes of illness in a coordinated fashion rather than pay for disjointed, individual units of service. We can stop paying for medical errors and reward those who work to improve care. We can stop accepting “Usual and Customary” as a basis for payment and demand transparent pricing based on verifiable cost accounting. We can improve compensation to primary care providers for helping us avoid costly specialty care. We can work with the public health system to emphasize wellness and prevention. We can help all Wyoming citizens be better consumers of healthcare services and we can improve population health.
Our first project has four goals:
- Improve the health of our workforce and their family members
- Save employers money
- Establish WyBCH as a credible organization in order to gain the respect and attention of the healthcare delivery system
- Attract new members to WyBCH
To accomplish all this we have decided to launch a project we are calling Project SPUR – but you may have heard it called The Asheville Project or HealthMapRx. Using face-to-face personal coaching of those with chronic disease, employers across the country have been able to dramatically reduce their emergency room visits and inpatient hospitalizations – lowering their costs and improving the health of their workforce. Sick days have been cut in half and workers compensation claims have also been reduced. If implemented broadly, this program has the potential to help stem the growing ranks of under and uninsured.
This, however, is just our first project. Once we have established credibility with the local health care delivery system, we hope to engage them in other projects that will also have a positive effect on the cost and quality of care for all Wyoming citizens.