At Gregory & Appel, Health Insurance is One Size Fits One
By Susan Rider —
When Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase announced a few weeks ago that they were forming a partnership to cut health costs and improve services for employees, spokesmen for the giant companies explained that their first goal would be to target technology solutions to simplify the delivery of healthcare.
Using emerging technologies to improve employee healthcare delivery is nothing new at Gregory & Appel, where we continue to tailor technology-based programs that:
- Empower employees to be savvier consumers of healthcare services and pharmaceuticals. For example, Jim takes the prescription drug Lipitor (Atorvastatin) to lower his cholesterol. The average retail price is $129 for a thirty day supply. Through his employer, Jim was made aware of GoodRX.com, where he downloads a coupon that allows him to pick up a three-month supply of Lipitor at his neighborhood Kroger at a cost of $12.41.
- Empower companies to select and adapt technologies to “mine” and analyze data for the purpose of creating health education programming to fit the unique needs of their own populations. At Gregory & Appel, we were able to help a corporate client create a self-funded health insurance plan. After “mining” and analyzing the history of claims, our G&A financial analysts were able to create cost projections. More important, upon discovery that a significant percentage of employees were diabetic, we arranged to bring a diabetes educator to run onsite educational sessions for all employees.
“Frustrated by runaway health costs, the nation’s largest employers are moving rapidly to open primary care medical centers in their offices and factories,” observed a New York Times reporter ten years ago. In fact, today, many of our larger corporate clients have established onsite clinics. While a substantial upfront investment is involved, employee healthcare costs are significantly reduced, and (typically within three to five years), a company will begin to realize a return on investment. Again, data analysis technology is the key to tracking results.
We have been able to negotiate direct contracts with providers for primary care and acute care which saves money for both the employer and the employee. Additionally, through plan design employers can steer employees and their family members to centers of excellence which typically have lower costs & better outcomes for an episode of care – heart disease, orthopedic surgery, transplants are just a few that we see regularly.
As corporate titans Bezos, Buffett and Diamond so correctly discerned, technology will be playing a key role at every stage of healthcare evolutionary process. As consultants, we encourage organizations of every size to invest today in technology so that they and their employers can reap the benefits in future years.
At Gregory & Appel, benefits plans are one size fits one.