How much is suboptimal surgery costing your company? More than ever during Covid-19

As “elective” healthcare reactivates in the midst of this pandemic, business, employee benefits and human resource leaders face critical questions, including:

  1. How do I help my people safely find their way through healthcare in the “new normal”?
  2. What can I do to ensure the coming onslaught of delayed care doesn’t reset healthcare expenses at a higher trajectory for years to come?

Healthcare spending has declined significantly in the first half of 2020. Because of coronavirus-related fear and anxiety, many people avoided doctors’ visits, screenings and prescriptions. In addition, government mandates restricted access to care.

As a result, thousands of surgeries have been placed in a holding pattern. Knee replacements are down 68%, hip replacements are down 52% and cancer surgeries are down 18%, compared to 2019.

This dramatic absence of surgical care will soon be followed by a surge, as patients who postponed their procedures rush to reschedule.

It’s possible the swell in expense will equalize the dip—and there will be no long-term effects. Industry experts, however, forecast a permanently higher spending trajectory. At stake? Billions of dollars in 2020 and beyond.

How could that happen? Begin by looking at surgical care. Surgery—integral to cancer, musculoskeletal and many other areas—is among the highest-cost areas of healthcare. In the coming months, patients will enter surgery pathways, in many cases, in worse condition than they found themselves pre-pandemic. Cancer has advanced, joints have deteriorated, and perhaps even physical conditioning and mental health have suffered during the shelter-in-place. What would have been routine even 3-6 months ago may no longer be.

Combine this with a pressure to deliver care by healthcare providers looking to make up lost revenue and you have the perfect formula for poor outcomes, both clinically and financially.

If healthcare expense resets higher, it will be due, in large part, to suboptimal surgery. These are invasive procedures that come with heavy doses of opioid painkillers, complication risks and long recoveries. Outdated by decades, these surgeries occur much-too frequently today. One estimate places the prevalence of suboptimal surgery at 95% of all common procedures.

As a business, employee benefits or human resource leader, what can you do? There has never been a better time to invest in surgery navigation and care management to ensure your organization’s healthcare cost curve doesn’t follow the industry trend. Existing general benefits navigation programs, as well as centers of excellence and other narrow surgical networks, fall far short of what is needed today for your employees and for your company.

Goldfinch Health offers a revolutionary new employee benefit that works within your existing network to help you ensure that your people never receive a suboptimal surgery. The Goldfinch Surgery Experience is different from other solutions in three ways:

  1. Access to Enhanced Surgical Pathways fast-tracks your employees to recovery, minimizes the need for opioids and lowers the risk of infection and reoperation.
  2. Guidance from a Goldfinch Nurse Navigator safeguards patients and ensures there are NO “I wish I had knowns” throughout the surgery and recovery process.
  3. A focus on patient outcomes that matter. Saved Days in returning your people to work and life is our primary metric of success.

Our clinically-validated approach has resulted in:

  • 30% shorter hospital stays
  • 50% fewer complications
  • Up to 90% less opioid use
  • And recoveries shortened by over one month

Goldfinch helps to get your people to the right place in the healthcare system for high-quality care. Then, we set them up to get out and back to their normal lives as soon as possible. Guaranteed. This is always right for your people, but it is especially right during a pandemic.

To learn more about how Goldfinch Health can help, start your journey today.

Protect your people. Protect your plans with the Goldfinch Surgery Experience.

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