by Hannah Robinson
When it comes to addressing the needs of an entire population while focusing on a specific state like MSK in tandem, Nic Patee’s team at Work Right is moving the needle for groups like Tesla, Tractor Supply and Tillamook by deploying a more holistic strategy.
As it relates to employees, the C-suite is gaining clarity on how to wisely invest in their human capital asset by way of medical plan innovation. BenefitsPro recently ran an article touching on this topic, and Emily Payne, the author, said it very well when she wrote: “An interesting thing happens when companies start thinking about employees as assets: they start to view benefits as an investment. And the more they put in, the more they get out.”
In this article, Payne goes on to explain a little bit about what concerns CFOs and CEOs when it comes to viewing the cost of solutions against their potential outcomes. Will a solution end up costing more than it is worth, which is going to confuse employees when their plans are shuffled? What’s the best way to minimize risk and variability? Vito Russo, CFO and COO of Maple Industries shares they have been toiling with the same problems to an admirable degree of success.
Moving from variable to fixed costs.
Russo explains that he is interested in “moving as much variable [costs] to fixed”. For Maple Industries, this looks like getting as many costs affected and eventually controlled by the company as possible. In an effort to minimize health risks before they occur, Russo’s company has put a big emphasis on preventive measures of health--early screening for disease, and treatment for hypertension being among them. Provisions like these work to avoid some of the deadly conditions that can pop up later in an employee's life, therefore saving the company and employees money in the long run.
Drill down to high cost drivers, like musculoskeletal issues.
One victory Russo and his company have introduced, in conjunction with early screening, is attention to physical therapy for shift workers on their manufacturing plant floor. The Granite List has talked before about the power of delivering medical care directly to the patient, thus eliminating travel and absentee costs, and it is unmistakingly proven here. Russo has had the pleasure of reducing cost of muscular and skeletal injuries (that which make up nearly 40% of occupational injuries and illnesses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) by half in only eight years. Russo has also wisely worked with local hospitals to begin similar programs for other common issues.
Why does this matter?
Why spend so much time focusing on specific issues? As Matthew VanderKooi, President of Solveglobal shares, “[Musculoskeletal issues] are the number one cost in group health plans, the number one cost in work comp, and the number one cause of disability. They affect more people than cancer and cardiovascular disease combined. They are also the leading cause of the opioid crisis that has been mostly forgotten with Covid, but is still a devastating crisis.”
When it comes to addressing the needs of an entire population while focusing on a specific state like MSK in tandem, Nic Patee’s team at Work Right is moving the needle for groups like Tesla, Tractor Supply and Tillamook by deploying a more holistic strategy. He shares three critical steps for achieving the goals most C-suites desire in protecting their human capital assets. He challenges employers to “Create a team that understands each other’s language, make sure to acknowledge and address people, systems, cultures, and (this is an important facet) incorporate healthcare providers as leaders on the team, so there is a more transparent line of communication. This conversation between the employer and healthcare providers is such a pivotal moment in the benefits arena, and only outdated companies are losing ground.
The bottom line is just that. As benefits evolve, so must companies. So must the relationships they have with providers and employees themselves. And, this starts at the top, in the C-suite.
To search and source solutions like the ones mentioned in this article, visit The Granite List at www.thegranitelist.com