Back Button
Menu Button

Lindex® Scores Released!

Press Release on LindexToday we issued our Press Release on the new Lindex tool recently developed by David P. Lind Benchmark.

As mentioned in my December 12th blog, Lindex® to be Released Soon, the Lindex is a new and innovative tool that allows Iowa employers to distill voluminous and complicated data into one relevant number.

An organization’s Lindex score will help Iowa employers:

  • Determine the competiveness of their benefits package.
  • Attract and retain a high quality workforce.
  • Decide whether benefit changes are required to keep your employee benefits competitive.

The Lindex is a composite score used as a reference when determining the quality of benefits offered by Iowa organizations. This index is the result of a sophisticated calculation based on the benefits data submitted by over 1,200 Iowa organizations from the latest 2012 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©.

Calculated once a year, the Lindex ranges from 0 to 100, with low scores reflecting fewer benefits offered at a higher cost to employees, while higher scores indicate more benefits being offered at a competitive cost.

In 2012, the overall Lindex score for Iowa employers (regardless of employer size and industry) was 73. The Lindex score will vary based on the employer size and industry. For example, employers with less than 10 employees have a Lindex score of 55, while employers with at least 1,000 employees averaged 84. Employers in the retail industry averaged 57, while state and local government employers averaged 78.

Below is a summary of the Lindex scores based on organization size:

Master Lindex® Slide - Employer Size

Below is a summary of the Lindex scores based on industry:

Master Lindex® Slide - Industry

Below is a summary of the Lindex scores based on Iowa’s four Congressional Districts:

Master Lindex® Slide - Congressional

It’s important to note that an organization with a Lindex score of 68 might appear to be somewhat low when compared to the overall statewide score of 73, but if this score is above the average Lindex score for similar organizations based on size and industry, then it could be considered a good score for that organization.

To purchase a copy of the 2012 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©, or any of the five industry reports, click here.

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Retail
  3. Healthcare & Social Services
  4. Finance & Insurance
  5. Government & Education

To learn more about the Lindex, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of our website.

We invite you to stay in touch by subscribing to our blog.

And the ‘Winners’ Are…(Part III)

Winners in Health CareMy blog, Seeking Truth in Health Care (Part I) briefly discussed my observations in the employer community regarding health insurance, while last week’s blog, ‘Disruption’ Will Be Painful (Part II) touched on potential implications for the health care providers here in Iowa. This blog attempts to tie together both blogs – in other words, help identify what providers will need to do in order to ‘win’ in the future.

I must mention again that there are no easy solutions – disruption is painful. However, there does appear to be a consensus on the ‘winning’ strategy for those organizations who are willing to face the inevitable disruption in health care.

So here goes.  The ‘Winners’ are those organizations that:

  1. Completely embrace a ‘Culture of Full Transparency’ – both in cost of services and successful health outcomes delivered
  2. Develop and consistently demonstrate a ‘Culture of Safety’
  3. Master a ‘Coordination of Care Culture’
  4. Tie Value to Costs

Perhaps you may have noticed a common word in three of the four elements – CULTURE. It will be difficult, actually impossible, for any organization to ‘win’ without first instilling full Transparency, Safety and Coordination of Care within the fabric of the organization. Simply put, the culture is the DNA of the organization. Being patient centric should be the destination for all providers in the future – no exceptions allowed.

Merely broadcasting to the public through various media channels that these four elements are present within the organization will no longer cut it. The public is not that gullible. People talk…and people listen. If these essential changes are not incorporated into the organization’s DNA, the health care provider is nothing more than a marketing organization – and having a winning strategy will be unattainable.

Tying value to costs will help employers and their employees better assess which provider to use under varying circumstances of care. The health providers that can apply all four elements will earn the TRUST from their communities.

In health care, TRU$T is the ‘currency of commerce.”*

This new transformation will not take place overnight. After all, it has taken many decades to get us in the situation we are today, and it will take time to transform into a new and improved “system” of care. The new transformation has begun for some organizations, while for others, not so much. Every journey begins by taking a first step.

To learn more, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

*Dr. David A. Shore, Harvard School of Public Health

‘Disruption’ Will Be Painful (Part II)

Health care in Iowa 2013 and beyondIn last week’s blog, Seeking Truth in Health Care (Part I), I shared four observations regarding health insurance for Iowa employers. This blog continues the discussion about how this may impact the health care provider community in Iowa.

As reported annually from the Iowa Employer Benefits Study©, health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, which erodes take-home pay for employees, especially those who fall below the 400% Federal Poverty Level. In addition, employers continually purchase higher cost-sharing health plans that require employees to assume more out-of-pocket expenses. All of this means that health care providers – hospitals and physicians alike – will continue to see inflated receivables from individuals in the private payer sector. Not only is this unsustainable for the employment market, it will create greater financial tension for health providers when attempting to collect the cost-sharing portions from employees.

The wellness culture is taking root, as the emphasis in the employment community is all about healthy and productive employees. This new transformation in wellness can be seen not only with employers, but also in communities and statewide, as witnessed by the Healthiest State Initiative and the Blue Zones® Project. Many smaller Iowa employers have yet to embrace wellness initiatives, but appear to be willing to do so – as they are looking for both assistance and direction to make this process easy to implement and maintain. With this, opportunities to partner with employers exist for health care providers. Developing sustainable business models will be paramount for such opportunities to flourish in the new health world.

Another implication that will likely impact health providers is the concept of ‘defined contribution’ (DC.) As health premiums increase, employers will look for obvious ways to limit the ‘distraction’ of offering their own health plan(s). One possible and likely approach is to provide employees with a flat subsidy (that might be tied to the Consumer Price Index) to purchase their own coverage through a private exchange.

It is my understanding that an employer offering access to a private exchange (and providing “adequate” subsidies) would be similar to offering health coverage and therefore not be subject to the $2,000-per-worker penalty under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) for employers with over 50 employees. The DC approach may intensify improved efficiencies, price concessions, access and convenience – as employees would become more astute to the true cost of insurance…and demand more information from health care providers. As a result, health providers will need to transform themselves to be more efficient due to increased pressure to be transparent both in cost and outcomes.

Finally, most Iowa employers believe that health reform will NOT solve the cost issue. Greater complexities in the insurance market will only serve to frustrate employers who look for new directions on how to manage the cost and uncertainties. A ‘Provider Renaissance’ is sorely needed to deliver higher quality care at lower costs. Without a doubt, disruption in health care will be painful for all.

There you have it. The above implications are my best guess – at least for now!

Next week’s blog will address the potential “Winners” in the future – and what it may eventually mean for the employer community.

To learn more, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.