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May 2, 2013

Health Care Strategy Committee wants ideas from faculty and staff

The Health Care Strategy Committee is looking for faculty and staff ideas to help curb rising Purdue medical plan costs.

"We've received valuable feedback already, and we're looking for more," says committee chair Steve Abel, associate vice provost for faculty affairs and associate dean for clinical programs, College of Pharmacy.

Abel says the committee wants to tap into the expertise and resourcefulness of Purdue's faculty, staff and students. "We're looking for anything and everything in the way of creative suggestions. Talk to us!" Abel says.

To encourage the sharing of ideas, the committee has set up a special email address to receive comments and suggestions. It is HCstrategy@purdue.edu. "Suggestions are welcome at any time," Abel says. "We're working on both short-term and long-term recommendations, so we'll be on the project for several months."

Abel says subcommittees have been exploring the potential within the following areas:

Employee health improvement -- Looking at ways to encourage better health among faculty and staff, including making healthier choices, preventing illnesses and managing chronic health conditions.

Medical plan options -- Exploring medical plan options, designs, deductibles, copays and premiums.

Targeted initiatives -- Studying areas such as cost transparency and centers of excellence. Cost transparency ensures that patients have access to pricing and quality information about medical providers. Centers of excellence provide high-quality, cost-effective care.

"Way out there" ideas -- Seeking highly innovative approaches that contain health care costs and maintain high-quality outcomes.

"Our subcommittee chairs -- Denise Laussade, Beau Moore, Randy Rapp and April Sauer -- have done a great job leading the study of these areas," Abel says. "The whole committee has been hard at work, looking for solutions, and we're very interested to hear more from faculty and staff."

The committee plans to come to consensus on 2014 recommendations this month. After that, the group will move directly into developing its long-term recommendations, which are due in February 2014.