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The Health Care Cost Conundrum: Looking Back to Move Forward

Posted By Louise Probst, Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition (BHC) recently marked its 35th year of connecting and representing the region's leading employers on health care issues. While much has changed since the BHC's founding year of 1982, the driving force behind the organization remains the same: concern for annual increases in health care costs which outpace the growth in all other areas of the economy.
BHC founding employers recognized that, as purchasers of health benefits, they were inadvertently fueling excessive growth of health care utilization and cost. They knew that their benefit offerings created and unleashed "cost unconscious consumers" into the health care market. Familiar with responding to customer demands, they also understood the role consumers have in shaping products and disciplining markets. BHC founders held deep concern for the long term impact of a market where consumers utilized whatever was produced and at whatever price. They joined together to learn about health care and to leverage their collective power in ways that would help flatten the cost curve and push for medically necessary, high-quality care.
As 2018 draws near, it seems appropriate to glean inspiration from the vision and aspirations held by BHC founders. Sometimes, looking back is the most effective way to move forward. Borrowing from a 1970s comic strip, one of the BHC's foremost thought leaders put it best when he quoted, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Thank you, BHC members, for 35 years of purchaser leadership in health care. Please join us in celebrating this occasion by attending our November 3rd Annual Meeting, Getting to Affordability: Facing the Cost Conundrum.

Warm regards,
Louise Probst

BHC Executive Director


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