Trial results over four years surpass all
It is time to
spread the good news…
Last week I travelled to Duncan, Oklahoma to present
the good news about the City’s annual healthcare cost results for its
employee health benefit plan. Assembled to receive the news was the City’s
employee benefits committee. The committee is comprised of representatives
from the City’s many departments and two labor unions.
As I began to report this year’s results, I could sense there was a
great deal of anticipation. Everyone was quiet and straight-faced. The
information was hot off the press and I had not had time to print
reports. So I resorted to showing graphs from my laptop. This only
heightened the suspense. As the good news began to take hold, the room
filled with questions and comments. The most important question was asked
by a gentleman whose name on his blue shirt was partially hidden by
his jacket. “So what do you recommend we do next year to keep it up?,” he
asked. With this I knew that the City of Duncan’s workforce had
been transformed from a medical disaster in 2004 to a well informed
“culture of health.” I must tell you that it was one of the most rewarding
experiences I have had in my professional life.
The results speak for themselves. The
preliminary “all-in claims” cost savings over the four year trial have
grown to over $1.7 million against the program’s cost of
approximately $181,000. This equates to a return on investment
that is greater than 8:1. In fact, the average annual costs for
the four years since implementing MedEncentive are less than the
baseline costs five years ago.
Speaking of MedEncentive, City Manager Clyde Shaw summed it up
“It saves us money and the employees
All of our other customers report that their health plan members really
like our program. In instances where our customers can effectively
measure year-over-year costs trends, all of them report cost savings
since implementing MedEncentive. Those that have engaged their
workforce to some degree, like the City of Duncan, are reporting the best
results. So the formula for success seems clear - combine MedEncentive
with a culture of health and healthcare costs will be contained.
In today’s troubled times, healthcare costs are a huge underlying drain
on the economy. Healthcare costs are bankrupting individuals,
businesses, governments and our country. Everyone agrees that something
must be done. Well, for four years the City of Duncan, the local doctors
and MedEncentive have been doing something and it has exceeded all
expectations. It is time for leaders to stop talking about policies and
unproven or illogical solutions. It is time for the nation to pay
attention to what has been happening in Duncan, Oklahoma.
So my answer to the question about “what do I recommend for next year”
is straight-forward. “Business leaders, health insurers, employers,
policymakers, politicians and all who are concerned about the high cost of
healthcare need to push for the rapid expansion of our program. Everyone
The following are some of the highlights for the summer and
fall of 2008:
Gingrich Lauds MedEncentive
Outperforms Other Employer Sponsored Health Program
Academy of Family Physician’s Elects to Support
Offers Grant for Independent Evaluation
Hospital Adopts MedEncentive
Selected to Present at Two Prestigious Conferences
Unveils New Logo and Website
Articles and Press Releases
Engagements and Conferences
Gingrich Lauds MedEncentive – Earlier this year, former U.S.
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke at the Oklahoma Healthcare
Summit. Having founded the Center for Health Transformation and written
four books on the subject, Speaker Gingrich is a well-known expert on the
topic. I was asked to dine with the Speaker prior to his speech. It was
not long before he and I were discussing Maslow, Pavlov, the process
of transference and other behavioral science that drives MedEncentive’s
efficacy. As a complete surprise to me, the Speaker perfectly
described the MedEncentive process using his own words in his after
dinner speech. Click on the following link to view his 45 second
Watch It Now!
Subsequently, MedEncentive joined the Center for Health Transformation
with expectations of making a truly transformational contribution.
Outperforms Other Employer Sponsored Health Programs –
September, Hewitt Associates published a national survey that measured
employee participation rates in employer sponsored health programs
such as smoking cessation, weight management, on-site clinics, lab
screening, etc. Participation in health programs is the critical first
step toward cost containment. The adjacent graph illustrates the
relatively low levels of employee participation in these types of
programs. We have superimposed MedEncentive’s participation rate.
This helps explain why our customers are achieving cost containment while
other much more expensive programs are not.
Academy of Family Physician’s Elects to Support MedEncentive –
After presenting MedEncentive to the leadership of the Oklahoma
Academy of Family Physicians, we received a letter of support. We are
very pleased that the OAFP recognizes the importance of the MedEncentive
program to its membership and physicians at-large. This development
further illustrates the physician-friendly attributes of our
Offers Grant for Independent Evaluation – At the National
Business Coalition on Health’s annual convention in Washington, DC,
we announced a three year grant to be awarded to one or more organizations
willing and able to conduct an independent evaluation of MedEncentive’s
efficacy. Proposals will be accepted through mid-January with a launch
date set for the second quarter of 2009. The minimum sample size is 5,000
health plan members in a single contiguous location. We are targeting
local business coalitions, but other types of organizations are
welcome to propose.
Washington Hospital Adopts MedEncentive –
Lourdes Health System of Pasco, Washington adopted the
MedEncentive program for its employee health benefit plan early this year.
Lourdes is part of Ascension Health, the country’s largest hospital
system. This installation was noteworthy for a number of reasons.
First, it was accomplished at a remote site unseen, through a third party
consultant. The consultant had to sell our program to the local nurses
union before it was accepted. The employee orientation consisted of our
informational kits sent by mail from an electronic employment roster.
The results have been impressive. Though physician participation has
remained low, employee participation has been very good, and Lourdes
is reporting preliminary cost savings. This confirms the scalability
potential of our program.
MedEncentive Selected to Present at Two
Prestigious Conferences – It appears that healthcare incentives
are becoming a hot topic. MedEncentive was selected to present at two
prestigious health care conferences this fall. Jeff Greene
presented to the General Session at the inaugural National Healthcare
Incentive Institute in Washington, DC on October 20. The speakers’
panel at this conference was very impressive. Jeff’s presentation was
preceded by Nobel Laureate, Kenneth Arrow.
Jeff was accompanied by Cliff Winburn and Jim Dempster, along with
Karen Wicker of Schnake Turnbo Frank|PR to the Health 2.0 Annual
Conference in San Francisco on October 22. MedEncentive was one of only
two new start-up ventures invited to present a “Deep Dive” session at
the sold out affair. Also attending was Greg Main, Oklahoma’s former
Secretary of Commerce. Greg joined us on stage during our presentation to
announce that the state is planning to invest in MedEncentive.
We are currently responding to a host of inquiries from these
conferences. Click this link to read the associated press release. 2008
Unveils New Logo and Website – At the Health 2.0 Conference in
San Francisco, we unveiled the new MedEncentive logo and website. We
contracted with Health Quality Advisors, Davidow Communications, and KinneyKusek of Chicago to revamp and upgrade
our website and image. The objective of this upgrade was to achieve a more
professional image that would appeal to larger prospective customers.
We believe the mission has been accomplished. Check us out at http://www.medencentive.com/.
Articles and Press Releases – We have received a good bit of
recent publicity with local and national press. This includes featured
articles in the Employer Benefit Adviser magazine and The New Health
Dialogue Blog, plus newspaper articles in the Tulsa World and Journal
Record. You can read these articles and more on our website at http://www.medencentive.com/.
Speaking Engagements and Conferences –
Listed below are the speaking engagements and conferences that
took place (or are planned) during the summer and fall of
- Information Therapy Annual Conference, Washington, DC, July
18, 2008 – We were invited to present to this conference for
the third time in four years. We believe MedEncentive represents the
best example of a commercially viable application of the
information therapy principles.
- Tri-State Business Coalition on Health, Quincy, Illinois,
September 24, 2008 – Local employers seeking healthcare cost
containment solutions were in attendance. Also attending were
presidents of coalitions in Madison, WI, Rockford, IL, and Memphis, TN,
plus representatives from Mercer’s St. Louis office. This presentation
helped us move forward with the independent evaluation grant.
- National Healthcare Incentive Institute, Washington, DC,
October 20, 2008 – see description above
- Health 2.0, San Diego and San Francisco, October 22, 2008 –
See description above. Our invitation to make the Deep Dive
presentation was prompted by a brief presentation we made at Health
2.0’s Spring Fling in San Diego.
- The National Business Coalition on Health Annual Conference,
Washington, DC, November 10-12, 2008 - NBCH is a trade
association of regional coalitions comprised of employer members
dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through
collective action. NBCH has a membership of nearly 60 employer-led
coalitions across the United States, representing over 10,000 employers
and approximately 34 million employees and their
NBCH is supporting us in communicating our recently
announced grant to local coalitions.
- Consumer World Health Conference, Washington, DC, December
8, 2008 – Jeff will participate on a panel to discuss new ideas
in the area of consumer health.