What is BHCG and why and when was it formed?
The Business Health Care Group grew out of the frustration felt by several CEOs of large Milwaukee-based employers concerning health care costs in southeast Wisconsin as compared to their other locations, particularly other areas in the Midwest.
A study commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health found that in 2003, health care costs in southeast Wisconsin were 39 percent above the Midwest average. The founding CEOs realized that something needed to be done to support the economic viability of our area and maintain jobs in our market.
The CEOs also understood that no one employer was large enough to influence the health care market. It would take a number of large employers, speaking with one voice, walking in unison with a common strategy, to impact the costs of health care in southeast Wisconsin. Ultimately, 11 corporations with headquarters in southeast Wisconsin and two other existing coalitions founded BHCG as a member-owned Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) in 2003 to explore alternatives to contain health care costs in the region. They soon established a goal to get costs at or below the Midwest average within five years.
More information about BHCG and its mission is available on this site.
What is BHCG's primary service area?
BHCG's primary service area consists of 22 counties in eastern Wisconsin including: Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Rock, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.
Additionally, employers located anywhere in the country can access the services of certain best in class BHCG strategic partners via standalone memberships
What are BHCG's core principles?
Several core principles, established during our formation, continue to serve us well in advancing our mission:
- Accountability from all stakeholders including health care consumers, health care providers, employers and our employer solutions partners.
- A broad network strategy which promotes competition among providers to deliver quality, cost-effective care.
- Education of both employers and their employees. Employees must be motivated through plan design and education to become better consumers of health care, seeking care from high value providers. Employers must dedicate resources to educate their plan members.
What is the value proposition of membership in BHCG?
The value of membership in BHCG is succinctly summarized in this video.
Who are the members of BHCG?
BHCG is a coalition of large and small employers, both self-funded and fully insured, primarily in eastern Wisconsin. A partial list of BHCG members is available on this site.
Is BHCG just for large employers?
BHCG is committed to expanding its membership to other like-minded employers and organizations. Employers of all sizes are eligible to join BHCG, either as individual employer members or associate members.
BHCG’s commitment to smaller employers is evident in the fact that UnitedHealthcare makes available a fully insured product. Fully insured employers with as few as two employees are welcome to join BHCG.
Who are BHCG's strategic partners?
BHCG is committed to promoting the evaluation, measurement and sharing of information on health care quality as part of its ongoing support of health care consumerism. In addition to our administrative partner, UnitedHealthcare, BHCG is actively involved in several statewide organizations, including the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN) and the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health (GMBFH). These organizations spearhead quality of care measurement and reporting and information sharing in Wisconsin.
How are you holding providers accountable for helping to control health care costs?
BHCG, in partnership with UnitedHealthcare, encourages consumers to seek care from providers that UnitedHealthcare has designated as providing high quality, cost effective care.
BHCG asks all providers to be accountable for their role in controlling health care costs. Providers are accountable for quality of the care delivered, complying with medical best practices, for appropriate resource utilization, controlling their cost structures, providing prospective pricing and supporting information transparency.
What are you doing to expand health care information available to consumers?
BHCG believes information transparency is an important part of the foundation of the market-driven health care delivery system we are seeking to create in eastern Wisconsin. We work with UnitedHealthcare to identify for consumers those network providers delivering high quality, cost effective care through its Premium® designation/Tier 1 program.
Through our partnership with UnitedHealthcare, consumers have access to myHealthcare Cost Estimator, a website with easy to use tools that compare both the cost and quality of health care providers. It uses estimates based on actual contracted rates. The information is also personalized to calculate estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
BHCG also strongly encourages all network providers to become members of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality to share best practices with other providers and publicly report their quality performance for consumers to access.
BHCG also is supportive of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), a partnership of health insurers, hospitals, doctors and employers that analyzes millions of health insurance claims to assess which doctors and hospitals are the most efficient.
What is UnitedHealthcare's network offering for the BHCG?
UnitedHealthcare offers a broad provider network throughout BHCG's primary service area. Within that network, employers have access to the UnitedHealth Premium® designation program designed to assist consumers in selecting high quality, efficient health care providers. By using UnitedHealth Premium Tier 1 physicians, consumers can save money and be assured they are seeing a physician recognized for delivering higher value in health care.
How is UnitedHealthcare network different from other health plans?
In an era when provider networks are becoming more and more narrow, UnitedHealthcare offers a broad provider network offering consumers an extensive choice of providers. BHCG understands that not every health system or provider group is proficient at everything. A broad network allows consumers to see the provider of their choice regardless of health care system.
Coupled with its broad network, UnitedHealthcare has developed their UnitedHealth Premium® Designation program which identifies providers that have been recognized for delivering quality, cost-efficient care. Consumers can save money when they make more informed decisions about the providers they choose.
The employer community is the driving force in supporting these health plan offerings which are designed to control health care cost trend for employers and their employees by promoting consumer engagement, open access to provider price and performance information, and improved efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of health care services.