News

Title
Year end wrapup
Happy New Year Member Schools!
Jan 16

We have much to celebrate as this past year brought so much good news for edHEALTH and our member/owner schools. We now have 22 educational institutions and have members in three states. In July, we welcomed our first charter schools:

  • Brooke Charter School
  • Excel Academy Charter Schools
  • KIPP MA Public Charter Schools
  • Match Charter Public School

Effective January 1, 2020, two colleges joined our growing roster of member institutions:

  • Dean College
  • Sarah Lawrence College – our first New York school!

Please join me in welcoming our newest members and I look forward to collaborating with you all as edHEALTH continues to grow.

The numbers are in! Here are our latest counts:

  • 13,500 employee participants
  • 30,000 total participants
  • Total premium equivalents for 2020: $225M

Although we had some high-cost claims that impacted the 2020 renewal rates, our average overall renewals over time remain well below industry averages:

Strategic Plan Update

As a reminder, you, the owners/members, assisted in the creation of the strategic plan to include two primary goals: growth and cost containment. Below is an update on those initiatives:

Growth

Outreach – I was asked to join the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) Board, which gives edHEALTH a seat on the association that is the largest captive organization in the world. In addition, we have raised awareness of edHEALTH through speaking engagements at:

  • Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Finance Officers and General Counsel Joint Conference in April
  • Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) Conference in August
  • The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges in November
  • The Boston VCIA Road Show in November

We had meetings/conversations with 30+ schools across the country, most of whom reached out to us directly for information on membership

Business Development Executive – We welcomed Nancy McConaghy to the edHEALTH team in Juned 2019. Nancy, who was previously with Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare for more than 27 years, worked with edHEALTH since our inception supporting our members. Nancy seamlessly stepped into her new role, actively engaging with our current and potential members.

Communications – We contracted with Cindy McGrath, a senior marketing communications consultant, to update and enhance our transparency and communications efforts:

  • E-newsletters/ Employee engagement share-it communications ­ – we introduced more frequent newsletter communications and engagement to help member school employees maximize and navigate their benefits.
  • Social media – through developing new LinkedIn and YouTube social media channels, and posting regular relevant content on Twitter, we’ve substantially increased our social media footprint.
  • Website – by overhauling, expanding, and streamlining the website, it has become an even richer resource for you all to find information and share it with colleagues.

Cost Containment – Bending the Trend in Healthcare Costs

Population Health Management/Clinical Intervention Programs - The biggest contributor to healthcare costs are the claims and controlling these costs poses a continued challenge. edHEALTH rolled out two population health management/clinical intervention programs to better manage costs and improve care coordination.

To date, ten of our member schools have already enrolled in the KnovaSolutions® Clinical Prevention Service Program that:

  • Provides personalized care for high-risk, high-cost employees and covered dependents. 24/7 access to help improves quality and employee satisfaction.
  • Includes periodic reports on the edHEALTH population risk and the program’s return on investment, which gives members insight into their population for more informed plan design decisions.

We also partnered with the Stability Health Diabetes Care Management Program which:

  • Focuses on the growing population diagnosed with this complex and costly chronic disease.
  • Supports participants through in-depth evaluation, individualized care plans, ongoing advice and encouragement, and intervention when needed.
  • Coordinates with primary care providers to facilitate timely intervention, enhance office visits, and reduce costs.

I strongly urge member schools to take advantage of these value-add programs to drive behavior change, improve patient experience and reduce claims costs.

Operational Improvements

  • Implementation process – We continue to improve and simplify the implementation process so that incoming member schools and their teams spend less time on the tactical matters and more time on overall strategy thus maximizing time and ensuring a smooth and (nearly) seamless transition.
  • Plan Design Committee – After eliciting feedback from member schools and their teams, we’ve expanded the agenda to include topics of interest spanning HR, compliance and healthcare. Agendas incorporate participant requests and have improved collaboration and strategic decision making.
  • Walk This Way Walking Challenge – The 2019 edHEALTH Walking Challenge was lots of fun, and 15 of the existing 16 schools participated. The weekly themes included exercise, relaxation, nutrition, and mindfulness, with corresponding prizes awarded weekly. A total of 794 participants walked 200,940,308 steps over the four-week challenge. Congratulations to Wentworth Institute of Technology who took home the trophy and enjoyed an ice cream social!

Looking Ahead

As we look ahead to 2020, we have much to look forward to. We have a strong foundation on which to build and can leverage our collective expertise to drive our strategic initiatives. In particular:

  • Data mining – As we gain insight into our claims pain points through our data vendor, HCMS, we can develop proactive strategies. Together we can use this information to realign strategies to drive behavior.
  • June Member/Owner Annual Meeting – Save the date of Monday, June 15 for the 2020 Member/Owner Annual Meeting. Based on member feedback, we will be expanding the program to include educational tracks in the morning with a specific focus on 1) Finance and 2) Benefits/HR. Our regular meeting agenda will follow these sessions. If you have requested topics for the educational tracks, please let me know.
  • Thought Leadership – We are in the early planning stages of creating educational opportunities for our current and prospective members where we will collectively take a step back, learn more about industry trends, share ideas, and develop new strategies for 2021 and beyond. Keep an eye out for ways in which you can help guide these dialogues.

It is a true pleasure working with all of you. I look forward to discussing how edHEALTH can continue to work with you to control the increasing costs of healthcare, while ensuring the wellbeing of your employees, their families, and your schools. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Please do not hesitate to reach out to share your ideas, comments, and suggestions.

Warm regards for an edHEALTHy and Happy New Year,

Tracy Hassett

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