What are Centers of Excellence (CoE) and Why You Should Consider Them

Apr 7, 2023

At Totem, our mission is to fix healthcare so you don’t have to. One way we do this is by directing our members to centers of excellence (CoE). When leveraging the benefits centers of excellence have to offer, our clients find themselves with more productive employees, a higher rate of employee satisfaction and lower health plan costs.

While many health plans now incorporate a form of CoE, it’s important to remember that not all CoEs are the same. At Totem, our recommended CoE strategy includes these differentiators:

  • Physicians are compensated a salary, not per procedure, which encourages appropriate treatment, rather than any unnecessary care.
  • Physicians work on a consensus team-based model.
  • The employers pay a bundled case rate, including follow-up care and care needed for unexpected complications.
  • All travel is free for the patient and a companion.

What is a center of excellence (CoE)?

Gartner states that centers of excellence are, “a physical or virtual center of knowledge concentrating existing expertise and resources in a discipline or capability to attain and sustain world-class performance and value.” 

Centers of excellence in healthcare are often hospitals or healthcare facilities composed of clinicians and subject matter experts specializing in a particular area of treatment. According to Definitive Healthcare, CoEs in healthcare are a place…” where patients continually return to receive primary care or treatment for acute conditions, separate from the place of diagnosis. Such facilities are often epicenters of care provision for large patient populations, and are thereby an example of best practices within a distinct specialty.” 

CoEs are important across all industries and organizations, but they hold an especially important role in healthcare — they’re more than a tool to better your business. Healthcare CoEs offer the most experienced clinicians and specialists in targeted areas of treatment, in one place.

For your employees — this means they’re being directed to the highest quality care providers available to them, ensuring lower costs and better outcomes. Additionally, CoEs combat common misdiagnoses such as Spine Surgery (55% misdiagnosed), Bypass Surgery (60% misdiagnosed) and Cancer (30% misdiagnosed).  

For you — this means more satisfied employees and cost-savings you can count on. 

Not only do centers of excellence help improve the overall health of your employees, but the long-lasting effects of CoEs impact your business too. 

How can centers of excellence benefit your business?

  • Increase cost containment 

When your employees receive top-quality care from the best physicians available, the likelihood of misdiagnoses or traumatic medical events is decreased. By directing your employees to CoEs and high-quality care providers, there is a 35% lower cost of care for both you and your employees. 

  • Boost employee retention

When your employees see that you’re prioritizing their health and well-being. It makes a difference. According to SHRM, “Sixty percent of employees rated benefits as a very important contributor to job satisfaction.” By investing in your workforce through employee benefits and the care both they and their families receive, you’ll encounter higher employee satisfaction, which, in turn, helps your recruitment and retention efforts. 

  • Improve the health of your employees and their families

Business goals aside, why wouldn’t you want to provide the best care for your team? Especially if providing that care didn’t mean you increase your costs. At Totem, we strive to be there for everyone. And, by directing our clients and their employees to top providers, we’re fulfilling our role in doing that. Better benefits don’t equate to increased costs. Instead, they help lower your healthcare costs while taking better care of your employees.

To provide high-quality healthcare for a lower cost to employers, we implement strategies and solutions rooted in our 4 pillars of Totem Health, with centers of excellence being one of them. We’d love to connect for a complimentary consultation to explain our unique approach to healthcare and answer any questions you may have. Click here to schedule a call.


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