Trends and Consumerism in Health Care

Trendsand Consumerism in Health Care

Trendsand Consumerism in Health Care

Thestudy explores the primary areas of behavior that consumerism findsnecessary to change and the main elements that should be included ina good consumer-focused health care strategy. The study by Sharon andTacker also explore the issues of interest that employers need tofocus in their incentive programs and the appropriate communicationstrategy. To achieve this, the study takes a case of a company withConsumer-Driven Health (CDH) plans with a 70 % enrollment rate. Thisstudy uses the case to illustrate how the rate of health care costsborne by employers and employees can be reduced by wellnessstrategies and integrated consumerism. This paper will discuss thescope of the study and the process with a view to understanding theways of integrating the trends in health care.

Thestudy discuses the enrollment rate of wellness programs and theConsumer-Driven Health plans. According to Sharon and Tacker (2010),the current uptake of the plans is estimated at 16 million comparedto the 7,000 people in 2001. This shows an increase in theappreciation of the plans as well as illustrated by the increasingprogram implementation by employers, now at more than 70% rate. Thestudy recognizes the changes in the participant behavior that isrequired by consumerism by analyzing in three main ways valuepurchasing, improved health and management of chronic conditions.

Thecase study explores a company with 8000 employees with variedlocations estimated to be 100 points (Sharon &amp Tacker, 2010). Thecompany adopted CDH plans in 2003 with a complete harmonization ofall its 42 health benefits programs to 17. Currently, the company hastwo CDH plans and a Preferred Provider Organization, PPO. The companywas able to record 70% enrollment and has accomplished it throughmanagement commitment and support, training people and trainers forthe program and using re-enrollment programs. Therefore, the data onthe research and the related information can be used by the study isfound in the company’s employee health benefit records. Inaddition, the company has enabled the effectiveness of the programthrough on-site employee meetings and use of effective communicationmethods and strategies.

Theprocess used by Sharon and Tacker (2010) to explore the research is acase study. After discussing the importance wellness programs and theCDH plan to both employers and employees, the study examines theimplementation of the plans in a company with a significant number ofbeneficiaries. The study further examines the data on the enrollmentof the plans by these employees and the methods used by the companyto achieve the enrollment. The study concludes the importance of theplans with the accomplishments the company has had with the plans.

Thestudy explores critical elements that show the importance of the CDHplans and wellness programs for employees and employers. One of theways of integrating these plans is by educating employee on the needto tap on the benefits of the plans and the importance of the programto them. In addition, this will encourage voluntary enrollment ofemployees in the program. Moreover, such plans should be incorporatedinto the strategic plans of companies and adopted by the managementteams. Finally, adoption of effective communication strategies canhelp in integrating the future and new health care research andconsumerism. This is because awareness will be created by employerson the need for such programs to them and to employees.


Sharon,C. W., &ampTacker, L. (2010, First Quarter). The power ofintegrating consumerism and

wellness.&nbspBenefitsQuarterly,26(1), 7