White paper: Tackling the top 5 clinical cost drivers

UnitedHealth Group and Health Action Council identify the top cost drivers, analyze why each is so costly and outline 9 cost mitigation strategies.

UnitedHealth Group and Health Action Council1 (HAC) have identified the top 5 clinical conditions that are most costly to employees and employers.

Analyzing data from UnitedHealthcare, UMR and Optum, the research found about 50% of the HAC’s 320,000+ covered lives had claims for at least one of the top 5 most costly conditions – cancer, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal and neurological conditions. It is estimated that these conditions cost plan sponsors $1.9B.

While there are specific mitigation measures that employers and plan sponsors can implement for each of these conditions, there are also several broader strategies that can help control employer costs.

For example, it’s important for employers to be mindful of the normal aging process. As the normal retirement age increases, employee populations also age. Advocating for nutritional meals, regular physical activity and socialization can help employees – not just older ones – stay mentally and physically fit for longer, and potentially fend off costly conditions.

Additionally, it’s important for employers to provide tools for employees to help evaluate and measure treatment options. When employees are diagnosed with any of these costly conditions, they can help lower the overall cost of care when they are able to make more educated care decisions.

To see more findings and strategies from the UnitedHealth Group and Health Action Council research, download the white paper.

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