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How Aligned Care Benefits Your Employees

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Keeping it simple ensures success

While attending the Conference Board Annual Employee Health Care Conference, Bryan Magstadt, SVP Business Development for Employer Direct Healthcare (EDH), noticed two major themes that seemed to resonate throughout the sessions. The first was simplicity.

And Magstadt wasn’t surprised “keeping it simple” was the conference’s operative phrase. “With so many different solutions available, it’s difficult for plan sponsors to sort through all the options and pinpoint solutions that will fit best within their benefits ecosystems,” he explains.  “Simplicity is about trying to balance the need to implement a new strategy that provides value to both the plan sponsors and their employees, while limiting the amount of effort required to seamlessly plug that new program into the existing benefits solutions that plan sponsors may already have in place. Ultimately, it’s about making the end-to-end journey simple for the member.”

The second popular theme during the conference was the emphasis on member experience. “The messaging kept circling back to how there is nothing more important than providing meaningful benefits that enrich members’ lives and provide them valuable services,” he says. “While there’s lots of current focus in the industry on solutions that help address the rising cost of healthcare, if the product can’t deliver a differentiated experience for the members using the solution, then plan sponsors generally want nothing to do with it.” 

Better Outcomes, For Clients and Your Members

Magstadt points out these two themes are always top of mind for Employer Direct Healthcare as we work beyond a transactional environment to offer solutions that align with long-term value for everyone we serve. The idea of delivering a member experience vastly different from the way we normally interface with healthcare was exactly the intention when we created member-facing Care Advocates to support the SurgeryPlus® experience. “Covered members are provided with a full-service concierge — a Care Advocate — who works with the patient throughout the entire process, guiding and directing that member through every last detail associated with the complex process of receiving planned, surgical care.  

According to Magstadt though, for complex surgical care, the member experience that Employer Direct’s solution, SurgeryPlus®, is able to provide goes well beyond using Care Advocates to help members navigate the complexity of our current healthcare system.  The real benefit of our solution, which oftentimes members don’t even realize, is the dramatic improvement in outcomes for the member when they use providers in our network.  Because we only contract with the highest quality surgeons and facilities, members experience better surgical outcomes, dramatically lower complications and faster recoveries.  Additionally, all of our clients incorporate financial incentives for employees who use our providers, allowing members to actually pay less for better care and outcomes.    

The Simple Trifecta

With three key stakeholders — employers, members, providers — to keep happy in any healthcare benefits program, plan sponsors have many considerations to keep in mind when creating a simple, aligned package that delivers a positive member experience. Another feature of the “simple is best” approach, says Magstadt, is shifting focus away from individual solutions that focus on targeted issues and instead concentrating on the end-to-end management of a member’s healthcare needs.

An article by Employee Benefits News describes this need perfectly: “From the claims experience to the simple act of being responsive to customer inquiries, it’s about making the process of offering, and enrolling in, benefits less work.”

Employer Direct Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Michael Sigmund says the company offers appealing solutions that meet the needs of all stakeholders. “We realized years ago that we needed to simplify things for plan sponsors,” he explains, “and we needed to provide multiple solutions in a manner that was easy to implement and administer.”

Sigmund says he knows plan sponsors are overwhelmed by the number and complexity of solutions, while also putting the pieces together on their own, even with the help of their consultants. “We’re focused on how we could best fit into a more broad-based healthcare solution or eco-system,” he says.

According to Sigmund, SurgeryPlus is always focused on simplifying the process for plan sponsors so they can in turn offer solutions for their members that result in better experiences and outcomes.

To sweeten the deal, he notes that because their Centers of Excellence (COE) network is continually growing its reach of surgeons and facilities, the SurgeryPlus benefit is easily accessed by members nationwide and more cost-effective for plan sponsors. Simplicity and member experience married in one solution.

To learn more about SurgeryPlus, visit edhc.com or contact us here.

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