By Linda Morgan
Marketing and Communications Director
 
Cindy Munn, CEO, and Ray Peters, former Quality Forum Board President, recently joined a multi-stakeholder group of 100 senior health care leaders in Washington, D.C., for the National Payment Reform Summit. The group tackled key issues, identified barriers and provided a set of recommendations. 
 
Peters serves as Vice President of Human Resources and Marketing for RoyOMartin and its workforce of 1,100 employees. I asked him to reflect on his summit experience and to share his thoughts on the payment reform landscape from an employer’s perspective. 
 
Q. What are the key issues facing your company today with regard to providing health care benefits?
 
A.  “As a self-insured employer, RoyOMartin works diligently to help ensure that our employees and their families receive the very best value for their (and our) health care dollar. Generally speaking, our value proposition is defined as employees having access to quality care that is efficiently managed. We are fast recognizing that our value proposition, as defined above, is not supported in the traditional fee-for-service delivery system, where ‘quantity’ is often rewarded versus quality or efficiency.”
 
Q. How has RoyOMartin positioned itself for health care delivery/payment reform?
 
A. “Responding to the challenges associated with the current delivery and payment systems, RoyOMartin, along with two other enlightened employer partners, established a patient-centered primary care clinic for our employees and their dependent family members. The clinic provides easy access to outstanding care and treatment that is clearly efficiently managed. 
 
In a recent survey, 77 percent of RoyOMartin’s employee population identified the providers at the clinic as their primary care providers. A full-time care manager aids the providers in managing acute care follow-up as well as issues associated with longer-term population health. It is very important to note that employees are not ‘required’ to use clinic services. In our view, employee utilization must be driven by patient value.”
 
Q. As an engaged employer, do you have any final thoughts on payment reform?
 
A. “In my view, any discussion surrounding payment reform must include options beyond current funding methodology. I know that conversations around bundling services and capitation are currently taking place, but both methods are really recycled approaches, with some measure of nuance. In the end, quality outcomes must drive funding. Are behaviors being changed? Is population health improving?
 
Lastly, I believe that employers must continue to play a critical role in any discussion associated with changing payment options – remember our value proposition. It is in our/their best interest. There are two places where populations are ‘captive,’ and they are schools and workplaces. Longer term, school and employer participation is critical. Furthermore, there should never come a day when employers are penalized for providing outstanding health care options to their employers. In fact, they should be encouraged to do so.”
 
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