Narrow Networks = Big Savings & Healthcare Cost Control

Narrow Networks = Big Savings & Healthcare Cost Control

If you have paid any attention at all to the ongoing media coverage that surrounds the evolving dynamics of the healthcare industry, you have probably heard multiple references to “narrow networks.”  But what does this concept actually mean to employers and employees?

A narrow provider network is a healthcare provider panel designed specifically to guide members toward the utilization of a more concentrated selection of preferred providers rather than the larger, nationwide networks to which consumers have become accustomed.  Narrow networks are incorporated into the overall plan design.  For employees, services received outside of the narrow network are either not covered or are covered at a lower coinsurance level, but because the network panel is scaled down to selected providers, employers gain much greater control over their health plan costs.  Narrow networks have become more prevalent in recent years due to healthcare reform initiatives and their ability to offer attractive savings to purchasers.

The advantages of a narrow network approach come in the form of significant discounts that employers can expect to leverage by actively channeling their employees toward a condensed group of healthcare providers.  By implementing a network strategy that is narrower in scope, cost containment efforts can be achieved for all healthcare services – and particularly for inpatient and outpatient facility services, which tend to be the highest cost drivers to health plans.  Employers can expect to derive quick and measurable cost savings under this type of arrangement, while access to high-level healthcare providers is granted to those individuals who need more comprehensive treatment than what is offered through the narrow network panel, thereby ensuring high quality healthcare delivery to all participants.

UCHealth Plan Administrators incorporates the narrow network strategy as a part of its product suite, with network accessibility that encompasses the entire Front Range.  This approach provides us with the unique ability to offer our clients a condensed, cost-containing network that consists of healthcare providers directly aligned with one of the finest academic health systems in the United States.  We also incorporate network solutions for employers who have outlying employees that live in areas without access to our narrow network panel.  The end result?  Robust cost savings combined with access to nationally renowned, quality healthcare.

The use of a narrow network plan design is an excellent strategy for employers to consider as they move forward in their efforts to mitigate healthcare costs.  To learn more, contact your broker or consultant, or contact UCHealth Plan Administrators today.