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National Business Coalition on Health and Pacific Business Group on Health Release Choosing Wisely Employer Toolkit

February 26, 2013

To make it easier for employers to educate their employees about the importance of talking with their physicians about their medical care, the Nation Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) and pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) released the Choosing Wisely© Employer “toolkit.  NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions and PBGH is one of the nation’s leading non-profit business coalitions focused on health care.

NBCH and PBGH, in collaboration with Consumer Reports, developed the Toolkit to assist employers in educating their employees about Choosing Wisely©, the ABIM Foundation’s initiative to encourage physicians, patients and other health care stakeholders to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm.

More than 25 leading medical specialty societies are working with the ABIM Foundation to create recommendations for physician/patient discussion. Consumer Reports leads the consumer-facing communication of the ABIM Foundation’s multi-year initiative by translating the clinical recommendations gathered into insightful tips and free resources for the general public. The information is distributed through a network of 15 consumer-focused organizations including NBCH, PBGH, the Midwest Business Group on Health and the Minnesota Health Action Group.

The new Toolkit will also distribute a broad array of consumer-focused health resources available from Consumer Reports including patient-education materials based on dozens of topics identified by medical specialty societies for the Choosing Wisely© initiative.

“The Choosing Wisely© Employer Toolkit support both the goals of the Choosing Wisely© initiative and employers, which is to get individuals better engaged in health decisions and improve health outcomes,” said Andrew Webber, NBCH president and CEO. “Employers can play a big role in improving the health and productivity of their employees and we all have a vested interest in avoiding the use of unnecessary health care. This information will help us all take action.”

Benz Communications, a leading benefits communication strategy firm, was retained by NBCH and PBGH to create the Choosing Wisely© Employer Toolkit. The materials found in the Choosing Wisely© Employer Toolkit can be used by employers of all sizes to easily build new campaigns, and integrate Choosing Wisely© materials into existing resources.

The Choosing Wisely© Employer Toolkit includes:

  • Eight new ready-to-use articles;
  • More than ten tip sheets from Consumer Reports;
  • a PowerPoint presentation for use in meetings with employees;
  • an index of employer materials, with reference guide to familiarize employers with the available resources and their intended purpose;
  • sample campaigns, including a three-step guide to launching a Choosing Wisely© campaign;
  • a sample Choosing Wisely© campaign timeline/editorial calendar; and
  • tips for integrating a Choosing Wisely© campaign with current wellness, enrollment and other benefits campaigns.

“We know too many employees are getting tests they don’t need – and even treatment that is unnecessary,” said David Lansky PBGH CEO. “This new resource is an important tool to help educate employees to talk to their doctors and really understand what tests and treatments are right for them.”

The Institute of Medicine Report estimates that as much as $750 billion, or roughly 30 percent of health care spending, is wasted on unnecessary services, inefficiently delivered care, excess administrative costs, inflated prices, missed prevention opportunities, fraud and other services that may not improve people’s health. If the current trend continues, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predict that U.S. health care spending will reach $4.3 trillion, increasing from 17.3 to 19.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product by 2019.

The Choosing Wisely© Employer Toolkit can be found at http://www.nbch.org/choosing-wisely-employer-toolkit. More information about the Choosing Wisely campaign is available at http://www.choosingwisely.org and www.consumerhealthchoices.org.

 




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