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Coordinated Health (CH) CEO Dr. Emil DiIorio shared a presentation last Tuesday at the Lehigh Valley Economic Outlook and Community Development Awards Luncheon, which was attended by more than 700 regional employers.
The presentation, titled “2016 Healthcare Outlook: The Era of the Employer,” focused on challenges faced by business leaders in the post-Affordable Care Act era of increased healthcare spending.
Dr. DiIorio founded CH as an industrial medicine clinic in 1988, giving him a unique perspective on the state of employer health. His focus on occupational health at his company’s start helped forge partnerships with employers like Bethlehem Steel, UPS and Crayola.
“When I treated steel workers, I learned how Bessemer furnaces and rolling mills worked. At Crayola, I walked the factory floor and learned how crayons were made,” Dr. DiIorio said.
As a business owner himself, Dr. DiIorio expressed empathy for fellow employers who are increasingly feeling the strain of inflated healthcare costs.
“2015 was another year where healthcare dollars went up. $3 trillion were spent on healthcare in America. That was 17.5% of the largest GDP on earth,” Dr. DiIorio cited.
Employers are particularly impacted by this increase because more responsibility is placed on businesses to cover employee healthcare costs. According to a recent New York Times article cited by Dr. DiIorio, 20 to 40 percent rate increases were requested by insurance companies in 2015. These rate hikes will ultimately inflate employer healthcare costs.
To anticipate the impending impact on area employers, Dr. DiIorio shared specific steps that business leaders can take to create more efficient employer health programs.
“Ask for and understand your claims – you do it in every other part of your business,” Dr. DiIorio advised. “Get your procurement people involved, and work with your HR team to see where the money is going.”
Since his presentation focused heavily on collaboration between employers and their healthcare providers, Dr. DiIorio referenced the work of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie as an example of effective integration.
Carnegie, widely regarded as the father of the steel industry, was influential in managing all the parts of the steelmaking process, allowing him to better perfect his final product. Healthcare, Dr. DiIorio suggested, can be viewed in much the same way.
“American industries have not always stayed in their core businesses. Sometimes you’ve got to pull out a little, get that supply chain fixed and move on.”