As the country debates the future of healthcare reform, some interesting facts demand attention. Eight of every 10 people, for example, say that it would be valuable to have a single, trusted person help answer questions for a health-related need. Of equal note is this: In the absence of such personalized support, consumers—confused by myriad options, plans, and approaches—waste an estimated 30 to 40% of healthcare spend each year.
At the recent Conference Board Employee Health Care Conference in San Diego, dialogue with Comcast’s Shawn Leavitt, senior vice president, Total Rewards, and Accolade CEO Raj Singh reflected on the decisions consumers tend to make when trying to navigate healthcare – and the value that accrues when compassionate, technology-enriched assistance is extended.
In the seven years since Comcast has been partnering with Accolade to engage employees in healthcare choices, said Leavitt, Comcast has seen several important benefits, including: a “negative medical trend, a positive Rx trend, a drastic drop in hospital readmissions, improvements in primary care utilization, and shifts away from higher-cost sites of care to lower cost environments with the same quality level.”
Comcast has seen these results, reported Leavitt, because “we make it easy for people to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong one.
“Accolade solves problems. Accolade fixes issues. Accolade provides support. Accolade is the way we personalize care.”
– Shawn Leavitt, Senior Vice President, Total Rewards, Comcast
“Our employees love Accolade,” he said. “It’s a game changer for them. Accolade solves problems. Accolade fixes issues. Accolade provides support. Accolade is the way we personalize care. Instead of trying to build a massive infrastructure to deliver all kinds of point systems, we’re delivering hundreds of point systems throughout the year to our employees.”
Accolade Health Assistants and Clinical Health Assistants assisted by deep data and technology make this all possible, said Leavitt. “It’s the power of the people that makes this successful…. It starts with those personalized engagement conversations and the technology that’s behind them.”
Located in the heart of North Philadelphia, Temple University Health System has had the privilege of pioneering transformative care for a historically underserved population. Scientific breakthroughs have led to safer therapies. Re-evaluated standards have yielded new approaches to serious and chronic diseases. Cost, quality, and satisfaction have driven innovations within the health system.
But the Temple University Health System also serves its own employee base of some 9,400 individuals and their families, and there, until recently, it faced some challenges. Rising costs were going hand-in-hand with suboptimal utilization. The bar needed to be raised on the benefits, satisfaction, and engagement of its employees – who are ultimately the ones serving TUHS patients.
With Accolade, TUHS embarked on a redesign of its benefits package and network strategy; this collaboration, too, was highlighted during a conversation at the second Conference Board Employee Health Care Conference in New York.
Consumers were taking a greater role in their own health care, explained John Lasky, Chief Human Resources Officer at TUHS, but needed more assistance. Once the collaboration with Accolade was underway, 6,400 employees and family members — roughly 14,000 people — were supported in navigating their health and benefits by a trusted, personal resource—to manage competing responsibilities, get access to the right care, and build preventive and long-term care programs around their own emotional, cultural and spiritual needs, environments, attitudes, and relationships with healthcare providers.
Within one year, TUHS was seeing a 7% total cost savings, reductions in both hospital admissions and length of hospital stay, an increase in office visits, and nearly 50% engagement of employees. In that time frame, the Accolade service achieved an impressive satisfaction rating of 98 percent among TUHS staff and their families.
Making sure that employees and their families get the right care in the right setting at the right time for the right cost is a requirement in today’s world. People are more satisfied. Costs go down. And as Accolade works to offer even more opportunities for engagement through new mobile connections that can address benefit questions, review bills, search for providers, make appointment reminders, and coordinate care, the opportunities for employers and employees grow.
“Our goal is to take the brilliant solutions that are out there, weave them all together, and tie this ecosystem together in ways that deliver results consistently, repeatably and scaleably,” says Singh. “That’s the vision. Wherever the consumer is, we have to be there.”