Collaboration among the key players is crucial as the health care delivery system evolves and employers can play an important role as facilitator, according to Lawrence Becker, director of plan administration for Xerox Corp. in Rochester, New York.
"I see our role as conveners," he says. "One thing we can do is bring the parties together to have a meaningful dialogue. It's such a large challenge that you have to work on all the pieces all of the time."
Xerox is a member of the Rochester Business Alliance Health Care Initiative, a health care coalition of large employers founded in 2005 that brings together business and community leaders to find ways to improve the health care system and patient outcomes, not just for their employees, but for the entire community.
Their projects include a health information exchange that links physicians, hospitals, labs and other providers, and one of the country's largest community wellness programs, among other initiatives. As a result of these efforts, health care costs in Rochester have dropped from 5 percent below the national average in 2005 to 15 percent in 2009, according to the alliance.
This year the alliance received a $26.6 million grant from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to improve primary-care delivery for patients in their region.
Rita Pyrillis is Workforce's senior writer. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.