WEA Trust: Increased member engagement results in lower healthcare spend
Contact: Laura Taylor
Madison, Wisconsin – WEA Trust, a not-for profit insurance company, provides a different type of service to their members. Beginning in 2016, the Trust began personally calling and engaging members who visited the emergency room, when a visit to urgent care, a primary doctor or telehealth may have been a better option.
The new approach was developed to educate members on different options to address their health care needs and ultimately help the member and their employer save healthcare costs. A visit to the ER when not needed could result in potential harm and cost from unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures. According to a 2013 study*, emergency room visits average $1,233—and with healthcare costs and the variation of costs ever increasing, visiting the emergency room can have a huge effect on a member’s pocketbook and subsequently their employer’s total healthcare spend. A visit to the emergency room can also result in additional testing, which potentially may be unnecessary or even harmful.
Since taking a more direct approach in member engagement, the WEA Trust has decreased emergency room visits for total membership by 7.1%. This resulted in a savings of over $2.4 million for members and employers.
“One of our core values is to provide this type of personalized and direct service. It is one of the things that truly makes WEA Trust unique.” said Mary Hughes, the Trust’s Senior Director of Health Care Service and Value. “I believe that as an insurance company it’s our duty to help educate our members and make sure they are receiving the most affordable and highest quality care possible.”