How to Slow the Cost of Health Care

We know health care is a major concern for our members. In fact, we heard directly from dozens of Chamber members who last winter participated in focus groups about how the cost of health care is impacting them as employers and employees, their families, their colleagues and their companies.

What we learned from our members in a series of 10 focus groups in December 2017 was that the cost of health care is forcing tough budgetary decisions both personally and professionally. Not many of us understand how health care costs and prices are set. We have a hard time predicting what we’ll pay out of pocket. And we don’t necessarily know how different health care stakeholders work together.

Since those focus groups, we’ve been working hand in hand with many of our health care industry members to tackle those very issues. Together, health care stakeholders convened at the Chamber over six months this summer and fall to develop legislative and private market strategies to increase transparency, ensure the open exchange of helpful data, better educate consumers and even set the foundation to tackle the cost of health care.

What we developed is this report, intended to serve as a roadmap for the first phase of our proactive health care work. You’ll note that the document outlines some of our initial top priorities including:

  • Increasing the availability of data to help consumers make informed decisions and help health care stakeholders better analyze trends and identify cost drivers.
  • Making information available to better understand pharmaceutical price increases and costs.
  • Working with our carrier and benefits broker members to develop educational tools to help employers better understand how to save money without sacrificing quality. 
  • Developing a road map for how the employer community may negotiate higher value health care contracts.
  • Increasing provider capacity to ensure more Coloradans have access to quality preventive care and mental health services.

We’re energized by this critical topic and know we have a role to play in helping our members navigate the complex world of health care. If you’d like to learn more, read the report, track how we’re engaging in health care issues this legislative session and stay tuned as we come to you for feedback, action and education. While this only represents a starting point, it is as important as ever that we take action on health care in Colorado.

Kelly Brough is the president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber.