Employers Focus on Quality in 2020

February 10, 2020 · NCQA Communications

As employers enter 2020, they remain committed to improving the health of their workforce by providing comprehensive benefits that not only support, but drive, quality health care. To do this, employers—especially large employers—are focusing their efforts on four main areas:

Expand the use of Centers of Excellence for more clinical conditions.

Although COEs are common for procedures such as bariatric surgery or transplants, many employers are expanding their use to other high-cost or highly prevalent clinical conditions such as:[1]

  • Musculoskeletal surgeries of the back, hip or knee.
  • Fertility issues and treatment.
  • Maternity care.

Help employees identify—and use—high-quality providers.

file folder health benefits

With the absence of independent, comprehensive data on provider quality, employers are leveraging innovative solutions to help employees identify and access quality health care providers, including second-opinion programs, health advocate services, and third-party entities that steer employees toward a subset of doctors deemed higher quality based on varying measures.

Reevaluate—and redesign—the primary care experience.

The influx of digital health technologies into the primary care arena reflects the convenience, efficiency and easy access consumers have come to expect in other aspects of their lives, yet many have not been fully integrated into the traditional primary care experience. Employers are reevaluating everything from the definition of primary care to the payment models used to support the design of a new, consumer-friendly primary care experience for employees.

Increase access to mental health treatment.

While pushing the industry to solve larger barriers to care, employers are trying to ease access issues that are commonplace for their employees by expanding EAP services, procuring new digital health solutions that offer telebehavioral health services and bringing mental health providers to onsite clinics.

NCQA is working to highlight how employers can tackle these priorities effectively and efficiently. Intrigued? Sign up to receive our newsletterdesigned specifically for employers—to learn more.


[1]National Business Group on Health 2020 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey.

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