Today, the Center for Health Value Innovation released its 2010 Value-Based Design Report — a study of more than 170 companies, representing more than 4 million covered lives, produced in partnership with Buck Consultants — which takes the national temperature on how value-based benefits designs are progressing in U.S. workplaces.

So, what’s the temperature? Definitely hot—but in the good, cozy by the fire kind of way. And who couldn’t use a bit of that this freezing, snowy winter?

I spoke exclusively to CHVI President Cyndy Nayer about the report to get her thoughts on the overall advancement of value-based design and insights employers should take from the research.

Here’s some of what she had to say:

"First, value-based benefits design is even more pervasive than we imagined it was. Second, it’s not just the largest of the largest that are doing value-based design — we thought only the large companies are doing it, when in fact they’re not. In fact, most of the growth has been [among] companies that have between 100 and 5,000 employees, which was stunning."

"What that means is that you also don’t have to wait for a self-insured plan. Now yes, it’s much easier with a self-insured plan, but you can do it in a fully insured plan … by creating standalone incentives, outside the insurance plan, to guide people to the appropriate care delivery and the appropriate chronic care management sources."

"We also tested the concept of outcomes-based contracting, and about 11% of respondents said that they are doing it. We asked them with what kinds of providers? And the answers ranged from condition management companies, pharmacy benefit managers, primary care physicians, all the way to nurse practitioners and other communication services providers."

"I think that what we can say is value-based design is uniquely embedded into the fabric now."

Read my full Q&A with Nayer in the March issue of EBN, which includes:

* What employers are missing from not surveying their employees.
* Where to find consistent and high-quality benefits benchmarking data.
* Tips for overcoming barriers to implementing value-based design.
* Why she wishes she and her partners had come up with a different name for value-based design in the first place.

Meanwhile, is your company currently employing value-based design for its benefits programs? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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