Companies sponsoring employee health benefits in the U.S. today face an unprecedented challenge: Achieve and sustain health program performance that significantly exceeds the average — or face serious business consequences.

Fortunately, with the health care industry undergoing fundamental transformation, there is equally compelling good news for employers. Opportunities to reduce benefit costs — and increase value through better outcomes — are expanding at a rapid pace.

But for employers to make the right changes to their programs, they must first:

  • Understand the major trends that are shaping the new world of health care
  • Consider the definition of "high performance" in the changing environment
  • Look at some of the important factors that drive current performance in employer plans

There is wide variation in performance among health programs today, and that variation signals opportunities for action — including immediate interventions that can help employers address new high-performance health care imperatives.