In Good Companies, Volume I

Working at an insurance brokerage and consulting firm, I have the privilege of seeing some very innovative companies who work with clients at the firm.  I also do quite a bit of research myself on various health care companies – it only helps me to do my job as a client advocate better.  Some of what you’re reading below is research I’ve gathered on my own.

With that said, I thought it would be sort of neat to highlight some of these companies in a piece I’m calling “In Good Companies”. Here are a few in no particular order. If my blog does not do them justice, check them out for yourselves!

1)  WhiteGlove House Call Health:  If you thought the days of a visiting doctor were over, you’re wrong! Well, sort of.   If you don’t mind a nurse practitioner, then this company deserves a look.  Imagine this: when your child is sick, you may need to see the doctor.  If you work, then you need to get approval to leave work.  And then you have to go to the school to pick up your child.  Then wait in the doctor’s office.  And wait.  And wait.  Then, you’re seen, the child is given a work up, and the doctor recommends you fill a prescription. So it’s off to the pharmacy to wait…and wait…you get the point.  It’s basically a day off that you hadn’t planned.  But what if a nurse practitioner came to you?  Yes, came to your job or to your home.  After 5 pm.  When it was most convenient for you.  No loss of productivity. And the NP came with a bag of goodies (meaning the most common prescriptions) so that it can be filled right then and there.  Just pay the visit “co-pay”. But it’s not really a co-pay because this never even hits your insurance.  Wow.

2) Castlight Health: In an age of rising deductibles, patients are being forced to learn more about their own health costs.  The problem is that the data isn’t exactly easy to find.  Until now.  By working with employers and insurers, Castlight Health raises the curtain and shows its clients the wizard behind the curtain.  By using historic claims data, Castlight determines the actual medical costs based on the actual medical plan that the employer has. Talk about a need in today’s system!  Imagine this – you’re thinking about whether to have surgery, but you’re in a high deductible health plan (note: this service works best with this type of product) and you have no idea what your out-of-pocket will be.  Well, if that’s the case, go talk to your HR Director and ask them to call Castlight.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

3) Best Doctors:  I’ve heard them described as “a second opinion on steroids” but that description does not do them justice. With current payment models in today’s healthcare system, doctors spend less time with each patient and try to crank out as many patients in a day as possible.  Hey, it’s not their fault. They’re just trying to do the best they can in the system in which they work. But this can lead to mistakes…mis-diagnosis…that’s where Best Doctors comes in.  Give them a call and their team will take the time to view your diagnosis, your planned treatment, your medical records, your history, etc. to assure the recommended treatment plan is the best for you or to uncover a missed diagnosis. And this is just their InterConsultation model! Check out their website and learn more. And if you have time, check out the flash mob dance party too.

4) Hea!thrageous:  Technology is one of the biggest winners with the PPACA.  And here’s one company that’s jumping into the thick of things.  A personally connected healthcare company spawned from the Center of Connected Health, a division of Partners Health Care and founded by Brigham & Women’s Hospital, this organization transformed from an R&D company into a full-blown connected health care company.  They enable an individual to take meaningful and impactful action after having biometric data analyzed and then having an individualized wellness program put together…and delivered to you in the way that you choose (ex. cell phone).  Apparently real-time dynamic personalization makes a difference!  And Hea!thrageous is helping folks become healthier.

5) MedMetrics:  Ever hear the term PBM?  If yes, ever hear the term carve-in vs. carve-out?  Or AWP?  Or discounts? Or rebates?  Well, don’t feel bad if you don’t know what any of this means. But know that it contributes to your drug cost as your organization or your health plan probably uses a PBM for its prescription drugs and the PBM is making money somewhere.  This isn’t a bad thing necessarily. It’s just how business is done today.  Or…at least it was.  How about a not-for-profit PBM that partners with their clients to provide best-in-class clinical solutions to lower their client’s costs.  Oh, and they also provide 100% pass-through on drug pricing.  That’s right.  Transparency at its best.

That’s it for this inaugural “In Good Companies” blog.  If it goes over well, I’d like to do this again.  So if you work for an innovative health company and would like it showcased here, drop me a line!

DJK

[Disclaimer: I am not receiving any compensation or bonus from any of these companies to do this. This isn’t an endorsement of these companies based on personal or professional experience.  I do not speak for my employer.  This post does not influence client placement or recommendations to clients. I just think it would be neat to showcase some great minds and great companies at work.]

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7 thoughts on “In Good Companies, Volume I

  1. Good posting, good information.

    My question: how to make these types of resources available to sick employees? Does broker tell HR that these services are available, and employee contacts broker when necessary? Does HR manage the contacts? Do physicians give out this info to their patients? (I doubt it)

    Also, how credible are these outside resources to employee. Most people, I think, say ‘I trust my doctor’ rather than someone hired by broker or HR. How to get employee buy-in?

    I think we’re at very early stages of data evolution in this industry. Not sure anyone knows the answers to these questions yet. But would be interested in your opinion, either online or phone 508-878-3785.

    1. Hey, Gary! Good to hear from you!

      I can’t speak for all brokers/consultants but I know that many have a list of companies available to them for certain things (ex. Wellness vendors) that are at our disposal if a client (employer) is looking for a wellness vendor or want to go to market to see if there is something better than their current vendor.

      Brokers do rely, to a certain extent, on these companies outreaching and educating us on their services. I had not heard of White Glove House Call until they visited and shared their product/services. In fact, I know some organizations market/sell to brokers and consultants rather than direct to employer as it can be more efficient to do it that way.

      In other cases, an HR exec knows about a particular vendor (from a previous job perhaps) and brings that knowledge to a new company. Then they will tell the broker/consultant that they’d like to introduce this vendor.

      I don’t see too many situations where an employee contacts the broker directly, though it’s not unheard of in smaller companies (100 or less). Typically employee questions/problems go through their assigned HR lead and is then brought to the broker by the HR lead.

      To address your credibility question, employers typically put together marketing materials during open enrollment to advise/inform their employees about value added services like a White Glove or Best Doctors. Many brokers, such as the one I work for, have a communication practice which assists with such marketing materials.

      Whether or not an employee utilizes it is another story all together. I think work could be done here. In fact, the medium in which this is addressed is the greatest question – how do you market to and inform individual employees effectively and efficiently about valuable cost-saving products and services? Expect HIT and mobile apps to grow bigger in this space.

      Let’s keep the dialog going, Gary. I’ll be in touch!

      DJK

  2. Thanks for the nice inclusion in your innovative health care mentions.

    We see some employers trying to provide different healthcare benefits and/or premiums based on the risk profile of their employees and dependents. For many employers, this is too big a jump. While it’s impressive that Safeway has been able to flatten their healthcare spend over 4 years while most everyone else’s is rising, they have not been able to lower it. Isn’t that the real goal for employers?

    At WhiteGlove House Call Health we are working to make that goal a reality.

    Thank You,

    Bob Fabbio
    CEO
    WhiteGlove House Call Health
    http://www.whiteglove.com

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