Preventing Unnecessary ER Visits Saves Health Care Costs


| 2 min read

Unnecessary ER visits contribute to the rising cost of health care, impacting both employee rates and the business’ bottom line. To help businesses combat rising costs, Blue Cross will host its first webinar in the Blue Cross Master Class series, “A Matter of Urgency: Addressing the Costly but Avoidable Use of the ER,” on Thursday, March 8, at noon. This free webinar will examine the issue of avoidable ER visits and explain what Blue Cross is doing to combat rising costs. Led by George Kipa, MD, medical director and deputy chief medical officer, and Jason Machasic, director of engagement, viewers will learn more about the scope and impacts of this issue, what Blue Cross is doing to address the problem, and what they can do to encourage employees to choose the best option for care. Visit our Master Class site to learn more and register for the webinar. This course is certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute for continuing education credit and has been approved for 1 HR recertification credit hour through HR Certification Institute®. In 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members visited the emergency room 672,000 times—and 44% -- nearly half—were avoidable. Non-life-threatening conditions typically can be treated by primary care doctors or through resources like urgent care centers or the 24/7 Nurse Line, saving members time and money on costly ER visits. Not only are ER visits more expensive (the average claim cost for each visit is $1,368), but they can also be lengthy, which potentially means lost time at work and lower productivity. Offering health coverage to your employees ensures they stay healthy and also helps your company attract top talent, but paying for that benefit can be a substantial piece of the operating budget. In fact, the Society of Human Resource Management reported that health care costs made up around eight percent of business’s operating costs in 2016. With the cost of health care expected to increase an average of five percent in 2018, it’s more important than ever for you to seek out ways to manage these costs. Business leaders have the opportunity to help employees increase their health plan literacy and understand their treatment options better. Providing your team with information to help them choose the best care source according to their needs can, in turn, help keep your coverage costs lower. Equip yourself with the information you need to educate your team on their options for care by visiting these blogs:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association