Harvard Business Review

What Employers Can Do to Accelerate Health Care Reform

By Robert S. Mecklenburg

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

"I have learned that direct engagement among stakeholders in an atmosphere of mutual support and accountability can be effective in improving health care delivery."

To move from a reactive posture to a proactive leadership position in driving health care reform, large employers have a lever at their fingertips that they have not often deployed in procuring health care: their purchasing power. Providers and health plans are service suppliers paid by employers. Employers can readily apply market forces and supply-chain tools to improve the performance of both.