CE Credits: Valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCPKnowledge Benefits is an approved SHRM recertification provider. Learn More
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Expires: April 11, 2019

Employers and Other Purchasers


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“Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.”
Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead


What is this course about?

The health­care mar­ket, like all mar­kets, com­pris­es dif­fer­ent play­ers that can be cat­e­go­rized as buy­ers and sell­ers. This first of four cours­es in the series, “Under­stand­ing the US Health­care Mar­ket,” focus­es on the major pri­vate or com­mer­cial buy­ers: the employ­ers, unions, and oth­er orga­ni­za­tions that actu­al­ly pur­chase the major­i­ty of health care in the com­mer­cial mar­ket. It dif­fer­en­ti­ates between the employ­ers that pur­chase health care and health plans (aka health insur­ers) that func­tion as inter­me­di­aries between health­care pur­chasers (e.g. employ­ers) and providers (e.g. hos­pi­tals and physi­cians).

How ser­vices are bought and sold deter­mines the rela­tion­ship between qual­i­ty and price. This is true of all mar­kets, although the health­care mar­ket can be par­tic­u­lar­ly com­plex because of the many play­ers with often mis­aligned incen­tives. Some­times these play­ers work togeth­er in a sin­gle struc­ture and oth­er times each play­er works rel­a­tive­ly inde­pen­dent­ly. In either case, pur­chasers and con­sumers do not always see how these play­ers relate in the over­all mar­ket­place nor is it easy to deter­mine either price or qual­i­ty.

This course describes the goals of actu­al pur­chasers in pro­vid­ing health ben­e­fits as well as their col­lec­tive finan­cial expe­ri­ence. It also begins to intro­duce the learn­er to financ­ing, pur­chas­ing and ben­e­fits strate­gies that pro­mote high­er val­ue health­care. The oth­er cours­es in the series exam­ine finan­cial trends and behav­iors of healthcare’s major play­ers:

Who is it for?

Ben­e­fits admin­is­tra­tors on the front lines of employ­er spon­sored health insur­ance
HR pro­fes­sion­als inter­est­ed in improv­ing ben­e­fit pur­chas­ing
Pur­chas­ing man­agers inter­est­ed in improv­ing ben­e­fit pur­chas­ing
Chief Human Resources Offi­cers respon­si­ble for pur­chas­ing health­care ben­e­fits
Chief Finan­cial Offi­cers respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the bot­tom line
Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cers con­cerned about health­care costs erod­ing the bot­tom line

What will I learn?

1. Define healthcare’s com­mer­cial pur­chasers.
2. Track changes in spend­ing in the com­mer­cial mar­ket.
3. Delin­eate var­i­ous buy­er con­tract­ing and ben­e­fits strate­gies.

Can I get CE credits?

Yes. Knowl­edge Ben­e­fits, part of the Col­orado Busi­ness Group on Health, is rec­og­nized by SHRM to offer Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Cred­its (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. Each Knowl­edge Ben­e­fits course is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more infor­ma­tion about cer­ti­fi­ca­tion or recer­ti­fi­ca­tion, please vis­it www​.shrm​cer​ti​fi​ca​tion​.org.

Esti­mat­ed time to com­plete this activ­i­ty is 1 hour.

Release date: May 8, 2017
Expi­ra­tion date: May 8, 2019


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