The Honorary Health Value Awards
Brian Klepper, PhD
In the 2nd Annual Health Value Awards, we worked diligently to identify individuals that had made substantively meaningful contributions to the management of health care clinic and/or financial risk. And not only in their own practices, but by way of example for their colleagues throughout the health benefits sector. We are extremely proud to recognize the individuals in this group, and we are grateful for their efforts on all our behalves.
Outstanding Employer/Union Benefits Manager – Mike Adams, Dean Foods, with 16,000 employees
While we have not met him face-to-face, our understanding has been that Mr. Adams is a deep and seriously committed disrupter, an intrepid, strategic, and experienced serial solutions tester. He has deployed more than a dozen innovative programs, and his efforts have yielded health plan costs 30+% lower than national trend.
Outstanding Corporate Senior Leader: Health Benefits – Marilyn Bartlett, State of Montana
Ms. Bartlett’s achievement was the result of orchestrating the acceptance of reference-based pricing in Montana, a rural state, driving down hospital reimbursement to the tune of about $150/member/year and turning around a financial crisis for the state employees’ health plan. For her contributions, in late April Fortune Magazine named Ms. Bartlett the 13th most important world leader by Fortune Magazine.
Outstanding Benefits Advisor/Broker – Lee Lewis, (Large Employers) and David Contorno, ePowered Benefits (Mid-Sized and Small Employers)
This category is divided into larger and smaller employers. Bigger companies often are more entrenched and less receptive to alternative approaches, more risk averse. Their size often requires more complicated, customized solutions, so they’re loathe to tinker with the current approach. Smaller employers are often more receptive to alternative solutions.
Lee Lewis has come to specialize not only in bringing purchasers innovative solutions, but in designing implementation of new programs in ways that significantly reduce or eliminate downside risk, smoothing adoption for a host of large companies. His approach has won him the favor of companies like American Airlines, Southwest Air, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Whole Foods Market, Dean Foods, and The Health Transformation Alliance.
By contrast, David Contorno specializes in smaller employers, and he has accumulated solid data showing that he drops their costs by 30%-50%. Equally important, he has been a powerfully vocal advocate of change, beginning with the practices within his own profession, calling for advisors to walk away from commissions in favor of performance-based fees. With videos like one in which he shopped for a hernia repair, he demonstrated how to practice what he preaches. He has become the embodiment of the new way in health benefits business.
Lifetime Achievement: Clinical Care – Chad Gray, Integrated Mechanical Care (IMC)
In musculoskeletal care, a field that constitutes 20% of personal health and 80% of occupational health globally, and in which half of the care delivered is inappropriate or unnecessary, IMC represents a discipline that can be applied in 80% of cases (as an alternative to orthopedics), that drives better health outcomes in half the recovery time and at half the cost of conventional care. Uptake of IMC’s services by the employer community is growing rapidly.
Equally important, in the process of refining their approach, Mr. Gray built on a Continuous Quality Improvement framework to develop a real time methodology for process refinement that allowed IMC’s approach to blossom and that is applicable to all medical domains.
Lifetime Achievement: Health Benefits Innovation – Tom Emerick, Edison Health
Throughout his career, Mr. Emerick has exhibited a clear-eyed understanding of health system dynamics, and the solutions to address them. He was instrumental in developing Walmart’s Center of Excellence programs, in focusing on the runaway, unaccountable costs of the most costly patients, and in identifying ethics as a key quality important in a health care provider. His plain-spoken advice to benefits managers around the country followed principles like these, and was always offered with collegiality.
Hall of Fame – David C. Kibbe MD, Founder and President (Retired) of Direct Trust
Dr. Kibbe, who was lead architect on the Continuity of Care Record Standard, the first standard for mobilizing and storing summary clinical information, conceptualized, developed, brought to fruition and established as a standard an open methodology that would allow the patient information siloed in Electronic Health Records to be privately, securely and inter-operatively shared. That approach, Direct Trust, now has the support of the health care information technology industry, of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator, and of a growing portion of the health care provider sector. DirectTrust has created a “trust framework” that extends use of Direct exchange to over 100,000 health care organizations and 1.8 million Direct addresses/accounts. This trust framework supports both provider-to-provider Direct exchange and bi-directional exchange between consumers/patients and their providers.
Join us in admiring and recognizing these individuals’ achievements for the common good.