Increasingly in charge of their healthcare decisions and financing the actions behind them, employees are overwhelmed with the process. Alex Dampf and Pancoast Benefits want to ease that burden. In the last couple of years in particular, the healthcare strategist and benefits consultant has made it his goal to integrate concierge services into the Nashville, Tenn.-based brokerage’s business model, giving clients’ employees 24/7 access to services that help them navigate the healthcare system.
Dampf is certified by the Health Rosetta institute, which is committed to improving healthcare through cost transparency and empowering people to take charge of their own health. As part of that commitment, he sees the concierge services as the hub on a healthcare wheel, helping employees to access the care they need.
“Let's help you make that connection. Let's help you get engaged,” Dampf says.
One aspect includes giving employees access to HealthJoy, an app that connects them to telemedicine services, helps them find the least expensive prescription medicine or medical facilities in their area, and even allows them to submit a photo of a disputed bill to be reviewed, among other options.
“We're not doing crazy stuff. We're just doing normal supply chain management in a division of your business that's never been managed actively in the past, especially for a small business,” says Dampf.
Additionally, Pancoast provides highly customized support for clients, so employees with diabetes, cancer or chronic kidney disease know where they can find the right tools, resources and support systems to manage their specific needs.
Gulam Zade, chief administrative officer and general counsel at IT service provider LogicForce, has worked with Dampf and Pancoast for more than three years. When his child was denied ear tube surgery the day before the procedure due to an insurance issue, he called Pancoast and they had it cleared up by that afternoon.
Zade also integrated the HealthJoy app into his health plan for his 40 employees and has been thrilled with the service, but he says it’s Dampf himself who goes above and beyond at their regular quarterly meetings. “He’s never shown up to a single one of those meetings and not had an idea for us on how we can do benefits here better based on what he’s seeing on the backend,” says Zade.
A better way
With a background in finance and economics, Dampf was driven to pursue the Health Rosetta designation and benefit philosophy after coming to the conviction that there had to be a better way to serve Pancoast’s clients. Negotiating employers down from a 12% renewal increase to 9% just wasn’t cutting it. “Healthcare and health insurance doesn't make a lot of financial and economic sense compared to a lot of other industries, and so I was getting frustrated,” he says.
Pat Lund, vice president of benefits at Pancoast, says the concierge service model goes hand in hand with the firm’s overall increasing utilization of data analytics. For example, if data show that an employee has stopped refiling a needed prescription medicine, the concierge service can reach out to them to find out why.
“We bring in concierge services because our people are out there in a wonderland. They feel like, ‘OK, what do I do next?’” she says.
Although some fully-insured clients do use the concierge services, its most beneficial for the self-funded groups that have full access to all of their plan data, Dampf says. LogicForce took the self-funded plunge last fall at Damp’s recommendation and the company has already seen tremendous savings. “We believed in it because he was so passionate about it and told us it would work,” says Zade.
It’s common for clients to see 20%-40% savings in the first year, then flat to inflation increases after that by implementing the Health Rosetta approach of self-funding, transparency, supply chain management and concierge services, Dampf says.
“We're seeing their employees are happier than they've ever been with their insurance,” he adds. “The CFO's happy because they're spending significantly less money than they ever have in the past, and they're taking that money and they're growing their business.”
He adds, “It’s been fun.”
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