Many employers are looking for programs (also known as “bolt-on solutions”) to add to their health plans — especially ones that address an important need and are likely to reduce plan costs. Off course, there are a plethora of offerings. Which ones work (improve upon the traditional health care delivery system)?

So far, Peterson Health Technology Institute’s (PHTI) research has said “no” to the majority of diabetes solutions, and “yes” to the majority of guided physical therapy (MSK) solutions. This is what we’ve suspected for some time, but it’s great to see some credible, independent analysis.

So can employers just “plug and play” one of these offerings? Again, we would say “no.” Even the best bolt-on solutions require significant and on-going promotion to plan members. Timely, proactive interventions might be even more effective if possible. Remember, these high-tech services are a break from the normal flow of care. Local physicians and health systems are unlikely to recommend them.