Relevant Issues (5 of 26)
Why are some issues greyed out?The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.
- GHG Emissions
- Air Quality
- Energy Management
- Water & Wastewater Management
- Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
- Ecological Impacts
- Human Rights & Community Relations
- Customer Privacy
Data SecurityThe category addresses management of risks related to collection, retention, and use of sensitive, confidential, and/or proprietary customer or user data. It includes social issues that may arise from incidents such as data breaches in which personally identifiable information (PII) and other user or customer data may be exposed. It addresses a company’s strategy, policies, and practices related to IT infrastructure, staff training, record keeping, cooperation with law enforcement, and other mechanisms used to ensure security of customer or user data.
Access & AffordabilityThe category addresses a company’s ability to ensure broad access to its products and services, specifically in the context of underserved markets and/or population groups. It includes the management of issues related to universal needs, such as the accessibility and affordability of health care, financial services, utilities, education, and telecommunications.
Product Quality & SafetyThe category addresses issues involving unintended characteristics of products sold or services provided that may create health or safety risks to end-users. It addresses a company’s ability to offer manufactured products and/or services that meet customer expectations with respect to their health and safety characteristics. It includes, but is not limited to, issues involving liability, management of recalls and market withdrawals, product testing, and chemicals/content/ingredient management in products.
Customer WelfareThe category addresses customer welfare concerns over issues including, but not limited to, health and nutrition of foods and beverages, antibiotic use in animal production, and management of controlled substances. The category addresses the company’s ability to provide consumers with manufactured products and services that are aligned with societal expectations. It does not include issues directly related to quality and safety malfunctions of manufactured products and services, but instead addresses qualities inherent to the design and delivery of products and services where customer welfare may be in question. The scope of the category also captures companies’ ability to prevent counterfeit products.
- Selling Practices & Product Labeling
- Labor Practices
- Employee Health & Safety
- Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
Business Model and Innovation
- Product Design & Lifecycle Management
- Business Model Resilience
- Supply Chain Management
- Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
Physical Impacts of Climate ChangeThe category addresses the company’s ability to manage risks and opportunities associated with direct exposure of its owned or controlled assets and operations to actual or potential physical impacts of climate change. It captures environmental and social issues that may arise from operational disruptions due to physical impacts of climate change. It further captures socio-economic issues resulting from companies failing to incorporate climate change consideration in products and services sold, such as insurance policies and mortgages. The category relates to the company's ability to adapt to increased frequency and severity of extreme weather, shifting climate, sea level risk, and other expected physical impacts of climate change. Management may involve enhancing resiliency of physical assets and/or surrounding infrastructure as well as incorporation of climate change-related considerations into key business activities (e.g., mortgage and insurance underwriting, planning and development of real estate projects).
Leadership and Governance
- Business Ethics
- Competitive Behavior
- Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
- Critical Incident Risk Management
- Systemic Risk Management
Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Managed Care
Customer Privacy & Technology Standards
Regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S., may require health insurance plans to comply with various requirements relating to the use, disclosure, storage, and transmission of patient health information. Entities in this industry are required to develop policies and technical safeguards to protect patient health information. A failure to comply with these evolving standards, which in the U.S. include provisions established under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, can lead to significant civil and criminal penalties. These risks are intensified by an increase in cyberattacks that target managed care entities.
Access to Coverage
Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the U.S. reduced the number of uninsured, more than 10 percent of adults in the United States remain uninsured. The percentage of uninsured is significantly higher for people near or at the federal poverty level. Managed care entities can play a role in providing additional access by limiting plan costs and rate increases. Entities must also comply with regulations intended to control plan costs, including medical loss rations, while also ensuring coverage for all applicants regardless of health status, gender, or pre-existing conditions. Increased regulatory focus on health care costs and the need to comply with evolving regulations continue to present challenges for the industry.
Managed care entities manage performance in areas such as responsiveness, complaints, voluntary disenrollment, and customer service in order to maintain competitiveness. Under the Five-Star Quality Rating System for Medicare Advantage Plans in the U.S., performance on key metrics are factored into federal reimbursement rates and bonus payments for Medicare Advantage carriers. Disclosure on key indicators related to plan performance may allow shareholders to understand how managed care entities are able to protect corporate value.
Managed care entities can play a critical role in maintaining and improving the health of enrollees. In addition, legislation continues to emphasise improved outcomes through provisions, including those that require health plans to provide coverage for preventive services without cost to members. The development of the Five-Star Quality Rating System for Medicare Advantage Plans in the U.S., for example, further strengthens the relationship between enrollee health and value by linking reimbursement rates and bonus payments to performance in five domains, including specific outcome-based measures. Entities that are able to improve the health of enrollees may be better positioned to protect shareholder value.
Climate Change Impacts on Human Health
An increase in extreme weather events associated with climate change could have significant health impacts. These events, coupled with the potential spread of infectious diseases and food and water scarcity, may present material implications for the Managed Care industry through an increase in encounters with the health care system. Entities that manage the risks posed by extreme weather events and potential changes in the incidence, morbidity and mortality of illnesses and diseases may protect shareholder value better.