Bridging Health Equity Gaps Through Value-Based Care

Apr 02,2024

Read Time 3 Minutes

The healthcare system has been working for years to find ways to advance health equity, improve health outcomes, and curb rising costs. Employers have a unique opportunity to strengthen health equity for their workforce and, in turn, for the United States as a whole, by choosing employee benefits that include value-based care. With an emphasis on improving healthcare access and health equity, value-based care can help level the playing field for everyone.

Understanding The Impact Of Health Equity


Health equity is defined as the ability for every person to live their healthiest life through the elimination of disparities in health and healthcare. For that to be achieved, each person’s health must be valued equally. Injustices and inequalities need to be addressed to avoid negative health outcomes for employees, such as lower retention rates and higher annual health costs. In fact, health inequities cost about $320 billion annually — which could evolve into $1 trillion per year by 2040.


Adopting Value-Based Care Drives Equity


Value-based care prioritizes preventive and whole-health services, encouraging the best possible outcomes for every employee through personalized care. This increases the accountability and investment among doctors, hospitals, and health insurance carriers. Specifically, value-based care plans offered by insurers like Anthem can drive equity by:


  • Valuing and measuring the health outcomes of all employees.
  • Connecting employees to community-based services to help with social needs.
  • Tracking outcomes in a way that identifies disparities and helps close gaps in care.
  • Strengthening partnerships with providers that work with historically underserved communities.


Measuring Outcomes Through Value-Based Care


Value-based care uses a data-driven approach to help an employee’s care team and their health partners measure health improvements against goals aimed at driving better outcomes. Care provider reimbursement is then based on data-backed health outcomes achieved over the time period specified in the value-based contract. 


Examples of contract measurements include things like follow-up appointments after hospitalizations for mental health conditions, diagnosis codes with referrals to community-based organizations, and postpartum follow-up visits for Black women experiencing high blood pressure while pregnant. 


These types of goals encourage provider partners to address health-related social needs (HRSNs) as part of their ongoing care and services. A number of these measures also align with national recommendations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA).


Shifting The Focus To Consumer-Centered Care 


Value-based care increases engagement between insurers, providers, employees, and community-based organizations to create and measure better health outcomes. Additionally, it helps employers develop a true understanding of the outcomes that matter most for their workplace population. 


Under value-based care models, care providers and insurers collaborate to gain a whole-person view of an employee’s health, including any barriers to health equity. Access to social and medical information across the continuum of care can lower care costs, drive better health outcomes, and even prevent the onset and progression of certain chronic conditions.


Supporting Employees With The Right Benefits


Employers can help advance health equity through employee benefits designed to offer each person the individualized and personalized care they deserve. By helping to bridge inequity gaps, plans operating through value-based care models can significantly improve your employees’ well-being, paving the way for them to both live and contribute to their fullest.