Employer Forum Exposes the Benefits Industry Tactics that are Driving Uncontrolled Costs

Freedom Healthworks, Assured Partners and Health Rosetta organized a first of its kind employer forum, Cracking the Health Plan Code, in Indianapolis on May 9, where we had experts in the field of employee benefits discuss the drivers of high healthcare costs in Indiana and beyond.

The intent of the event was to start the process by getting employers to act on strategies that, in many areas of the nation, have shown to reduce healthcare spend. For some employers, this means saving hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. 

On the same day of the event, a study was published showing that Indiana had some of the highest healthcare costs in the nation. Our prices averaged 311% of Medicare and increasing year over year, at a time when other states costs were a fraction of Indiana’s.

How do we reduce costs here in Central Indiana? That is precisely the question that we were answering for employers across the state. The talks included strategies such as pass through rebates for prescriptions, utilizing direct contracting to lower hospital costs, and Direct Primary Care as a way to reduce more costly health expenditures by taking more preventive measures.

Meet the Innovators, Key Speakers at the Employer Forum

Cheryl Kellond – CEO, Apostrophe Health: Kellond’s company is the glue of the health plan, meaning they act as the TPA (Third-Party Administrator), but go above and beyond for both the employee and employer by directly negotiating prices with hospitals, surgery centers, imaging, etc.  In essence, they are cutting out the middleman and driving prices down.

David Contorno – Health Rosetta: David is one of the most prolific change agents in the benefits and healthcare industries. David has flipped the script on the traditional tactics that drive healthcare costs up, even targeting the backward compensation plans that benefits consultants thrive on. 

Jennifer Johnson – Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Southern Scripts: Jennifer highlighted the ways that traditional PBM (Pharmacy Benefits Managers) make enormous amounts of money by increasing costs of drug prices, while at the same time lying to convey to the public that they are trying to do the opposite. Jennifer’s company is an independent and transparent PBM that is working hard to lower drug prices. They have plenty of case studies to prove their mission.

Amy Carlson – Business Development Manager, One Beacon Insurance GroupAmy’s company takes the place of the insurance carrier, traditionally a BUCAH (Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Anthem, and Humana) but takes these lower strategies into account when figuring the cost of stop-loss coverage for employers, which contributes to lower costs.  

Dr. Risheet Patel – Medical Director, Freedom Healthworks:  Our very own Dr. Risheet Patel gave a compelling presentation on Direct Primary Care at the forum. He showed the group why primary care is so vital to not only helping counter poor health outcomes because of improved access and stronger relationships, but also how the model reduces costs by eliminating the need in many cases for ER visits, hospitalizations, specialists referrals, etc.

From our initial feedback, the response from guests who attended the forum were overwhelmingly positive. We are confident this is just the beginning of the change we’ll start to see here in Indiana. Meetings like this will become the engine to promote new healthcare approaches like Direct Primary Care to the masses.

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