December 2018

A Year of Change for a Year of Growth

12/17/2018 12:07:17 PM
Phil-Blog.jpgBy Phil Christianson, CEO

It’s the end of the year, and while things may seem to be winding down for the holidays, we’re not slowing our momentum at HealthSmart. This past year has been a pivotal year for our company, with a multitude of positive changes and innovative ideas that have paved the way for a remarkable 2019 for both our brokers and clients. So, before we all start the holidays with friends and family, let me to share our successes and forward-thinking strategies for the new year in 2019.

Delivering on Our Brand Promise

Like most companies, we have a mission and vision statement, but the Brand Promise is an important driver of our business: We partner to provide every service that plan sponsors need to reduce healthcare costs and manage members with dignity and respect. These aren’t just words we made up to sound good.

First, when we say we “partner” with plan sponsors, that is the essence of why we’re different. We know that most TPAs - or health insurance companies - don’t offer the kind of flexibility or transparency that we do. They may have many requirements to partner with certain vendors or to comply with their operational needs, or they simply don't respond to unique needs.

We offer everything a plan sponsor needs. If they want something else, we integrate those solutions to optimize member satisfaction and financial results for the plan sponsor. And when plan sponsors choose HealthSmart Benefit Solutions, Care Management and HSRx Solutions, member data is shared to provide an integrated, holistic approach to manage all aspects of their healthcare.

The second part of our brand promise is focused on the member. We manage our members with dignity and respect. Just last week, an email came across my desk from a member who uses our MyDecision program to manage her cancer treatment. She writes, “Every time I call, I get prompt service, support and my questions answered. Having MyDecision and the team (to) support and ensure all the required authorizations are generated has been a comfort to me. It’s one less thing I have to think about while I deal with getting healthy.” (Let me add that MyDecision delivers this care with no out of pocket cost to the member.)

These messages truly touch me and make my job even more rewarding, because I know we’re doing the right thing by our members. We’re walking beside our members as they embark on journeys that can be confusing and costly. But our commitment and passion to treat all members – healthy or otherwise – with the utmost dignity and respect is unwavering because they are part of the HealthSmart family of clients. This is the message I want to send for the new year.

Exciting Times

2018 has been very exciting for us as we continue to develop new programs for our clients. In July, we successfully rolled out our Reference Based Pricing program, called SmartDecision. With this program, provider payments are reimbursed at a percentage of Medicare, with options from 140 to 180 percent of the Medicare reimbursement. Some hospitals bill as much as 500 percent of Medicare reimbursement to a traditional PPO plan, so the savings with RBP can be significant.

Another example is our new transplant program from our Care Management group. One of our clients was experiencing staggering costs due to lung transplants. Our team went to work and developed a collaborative process and advocacy program for both the member and the client. Our comprehensive approach to managing healthcare costs and care coordination reduces costs without limiting member care. In one example, our program saved 95% from the amount billed, for savings of nearly $4 million.

Leading by Example

One of the things I’m very proud of is the leadership team we have assembled at HealthSmart. We’ve worked very hard and been very patient to find the right people to lead our company. Our leadership team has brought a sense of energy, expertise and creativity to lead our company into our next growth stage. In some ways, it feels like a start-up in terms of the excitement, but we have the experience to move us forward with precision and purpose.

As we look ahead to 2019, customer service and broker relations will be areas of continued focus. We have initiated a program where many of our major customers now have Executive Sponsors as a direct line of communication. We have also developed and conducted an intense training program for the entire Customer Account team to further develop our Client Service Executives and take our service to new levels. With a standardized customer approach and new tools, all off our clients can expect exemplary, white glove service.

We know that our brokers are critical to HealthSmart and our self-funded employer clients, and we are hearing the voice of the broker. In 2018, we kicked off our Broker Advisory Council with several select brokers to present ideas for new solutions, discuss industry trends, and learn how we can better serve their customers. Additionally, in 2018 we launched our quarterly broker newsletter, The Competitive Edge. We hope you find this newsletter to be both educational and insightful as we work together to improve the healthcare experience.

Forging the Future

Reflecting on 2018, I am especially grateful for our entire HealthSmart team for rolling up their sleeves and taking us to higher success this past year. So many of our employees have taken responsibility for finding ways to improve our service and operations. I am also very appreciative of our broker and consultant partners. They know firsthand that HealthSmart offers so much more than just a few years ago. Of course, I am so thankful for our clients that trust us to deliver innovative healthcare solutions. We appreciate your business and your trust in us.

In the end, our goal is to provide our members with the very best solutions to manage their health and the health of their families. 2019 will bring many more new solutions to help us meet that challenge.

As we close out the year, I hope you can pause to enjoy the peace, hope and magic the holidays bring, with the anticipation of a new year filled with contentment, opportunities and abundance.

Happy Holidays!