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NBCH Confirms Speaker Lineup for Annual Conference Focused on Helping Employers Achieve Health Care Value

November event convenes purchasers and key stakeholders dedicated to
improving health and health care post ACA

WASHINGTON– August 19, 2015 – The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) will bring together employers, business and health coalitions, health plans, providers and other stakeholders for its 20th Annual Conference focused on the future of health care and benefits. The event will be held at The Fairmont in Dallas, November 16-18, 2015 with keynotes David Goldhill, author of “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” and President and CEO of the Game Show Network; Jeffrey Bauer, Health Futurist and Medical Economist; Mark Caron, CEO, Geneia; and James Klein, President, American Benefits Council.

NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of business and health coalitions, representing more than 7,000 employers and 35 million employees and their dependents across the U.S. The event brings together an extensive array of health care stakeholders focused on best practice strategies to improve health outcomes, shrink excessive costs by benefit design, enhance care management, and reduce waste in the post-Affordable Care Act environment.

“We’ve secured an impressive group of forward-thinking thought leaders to share learnings and insights into how best to improve health and health care for our 20th annual conference,” said Susan Dorsey, Vice President of Education, NBCH. “Participants can look forward to dynamic discussions and debate on the future of health care and benefits, managing pharmacy costs, and strategies to improve workplace health and wellness."

Speakers for this event include:

· Larry Boress, President & CEO, Midwest Business Group on Health

· Kim Dwyer, Vice President, Benefits, Advocate Health Care

· Cyndie Ewert, Vice President for Human Resources / Benefits, Energy Future Holdings

· Gaye Fortner, CEO, Healthcare 21 Business Coalition

· Paul Fronstin, PhD, Director, Health Research & Education Program, Employee Benefit Research Institute

· Susanne Gensch, Wellness and Recognition Program Manager, Ericsson

· Barbara Gniewek, Principal, PwC US

· Neil Goldfarb, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health

· Emma Hoo, Director, Pacific Business Group on Health

· Bob Ihrie, Senior Vice President of Compensation & Benefits, Lowe's

· Cheryl Larson, Vice President, Midwest Business Coalition on Health

· Tom Lenhart, RPh, Vice President, Magellan Rx

· Jack Mahoney, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Florida Health Care Coalition

· Francois Millard, Chief Actuarial Officer, The Vitality Group

· Sandra Morris, Senior Manager of U.S. Benefits Design, Procter & Gamble

· Tom Parry, PhD, President, Integrated Benefits Institute

· Olivia Ross, Associate Director, Pacific Business Group on Health

· Bruce Sherman, MD, FCCP, FACOEM, Employers Health Coalition

· Dexter Shurney, MD, Chief Medical Director and Executive Director, Global Health & Wellness, Cummins

· Charles Smithers, Interim CEO, National Business Coalition on Health

· Thomas Sondergeld, Vice President Global Benefits & Mobility, Walgreens Boots Alliance

· Michael Thompson, Global Human Resources Services, Principal, PwC US

· David Toomey, Chief Revenue Officer, Compass

· Karen van Caulil, NBCH Board Chair and President , Florida Health Care Coalition

· Lisa Woods, Senior Director Health Care Benefits, Walmart

Registration is complimentary for all employers affiliated with an NBCH member coalition. For additional details and to register for the conference, visit NBCH’s website: http://www.nbch.org/2015-Annual-Conference.

About the National Business Coalition on Health

National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is a national nonprofit membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions, representing more than 7,000 employers, unions and local governments, and approximately 35 million employees and dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. NBCH seeks to accelerate the nation’s progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality health care and the improved health status of the American population. www.nbch.org

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Note to editors: A limited number of passes are available for accredited media upon request.


NBCH Launches National Risk Solutions Purchasing Programs

First initiatives focus on significant costs drivers: pharmacy benefits and
musculoskeletal management

 

WASHINGTON – June 17, 2015 – After payroll, health care benefits are the largest cost for most industries and coupled with the pending excise tax and current reform landscape, it’s more critical than ever for employers to focus on value-based benefits programs to achieve better health at lower costs. To help employers accomplish this, the non-profit National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is launching two risk solution programs focusing on pharmacy benefits and musculoskeletal management.

 

“We’ve focused on two areas that make up a significant share of health care costs,” said Charles Smithers, Interim CEO for NBCH. “By circumventing conventional purchasing/delivery arrangements and focusing on some of the most corrosive aspects of health care costs, we believe we can help employers recover much of this excess, with better health outcomes.”

 

A partnership has been established with National Employers' Choice Rx. Structured differently than most PBMs, National Employers' Choice Rx is focused on reducing hidden fees, uses an evidence-based formulary based on independent studies, and offers a narrow pharmacy network. In addition to higher quality, a savings of 15-25% with a health care spend reduction of 2-3% is estimated when compared to conventional PBMs.

 

“We’re committed to this product and the transparency it produces,” said Mike Evans, Director of Benefits at OK Foods Inc. and current National Employers’ Choice Rx client. “There is absolutely no other pharmacy benefit program that can compare in quality and cost savings to employers.”

 

The second program is with Integrated Mechanical Care, a musculoskeletal management group that uses evidence, analytics, and proprietary guidelines to resolve orthopedic conditions, minimize lost work time, and reduce pain and disability recurrence rates by more than 80%. IMC’s program offers enhanced health outcomes in half the recovery time, with guaranteed savings of at least 25%.  Since orthopedic conditions are typically 10% to 20% of the total health spend, employers can realize benefit plan savings of 2.5% to 10%.

 

These services are available for employers through NBCH’s regional coalition members. NBCH plans to extend these risk solution services to other areas including cardiometabolic care, infusion, dialysis, advanced imaging, ambulatory surgery, large claims audit, high performance networks, and centers of excellence. For additional information or to participate in one of these programs, please contact Sara Hanlon, Vice President, Risk Solutions for NBCH, via email, shanlon@nbch.org.

 

“While it’s often said that health care is local, purchasers can benefit from national approaches that are value-driven with high expertise,” said Sara Hanlon. “These services can produce better health outcomes and reduce costs significantly, disrupting conventionally excessive care and cost. The real message to purchasers and health care professionals is that there are alternatives that can let purchasers recover the unnecessary costs they have assumed could not be challenged.”

 

About National Business Coalition on Health

National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is a national nonprofit membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions, representing more than 7,500 employers, unions and local governments, and approximately 35 million employees and dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. NBCH seeks to accelerate the nation’s progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality health care and the improved health status of the American population. www.nbch.org



National Business Coalition on Health Elects New Board Officers

COO Charles Smithers named Interim CEO

WASHINGTON – June 16, 2015 – The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH), a non-profit organization of purchaser-led health coalitions, representing over 7,500 employers, unions and local governments across the United States, announced its slate of new officers for the Board of Governors. Officers are elected by their board peers based on proven leadership and commitment to NBCH, as well as their efforts to advance and strengthen value-based purchasing strategies.

Additionally, Charles Smithers, COO for NBCH, was named Interim CEO.

Elected executive committee members include: Chair Karen van Caulil, Florida Health Care Coalition; Vice Chair, Gaye Fortner, HealthCare 21 Business Coalition; Secretary-Treasurer, Marianne Fazen, Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health; and Representatives Larry Boress, Midwest Business Group on Health, and Anne Ladd, Wyoming Business Coalition on Health.

At-Large Representatives newly elected to the NBCH Board of Governors include: Jessica Brooks, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, and Neil Goldfarb, Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health. Current At-Large Board member Laurel Pickering, Northeast Business Group on Health was re-elected to serve a second term. Cheryl DeMars, The Alliance; Beverly Rossmiller, Tri-State Health Care Coalition; Cheryl Tolbert, Louisiana Business Group on Health; and Christie Travis, Memphis Business Group on Health, will continue their board terms.

“As health care purchasers continue to look for ways to impact the quality and cost of care, NBCH and its member coalitions are playing an increasingly vital role in providing tools and education,” said Karen van Caulil, PhD, President and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition. “I look forward to working with my colleagues from across the country to move this agenda forward and also welcome Chuck to his new role of Interim CEO. We appreciate his willingness to assist in NBCH’s transition to new leadership.”

About the National Business Coalition on Health

National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is a national nonprofit membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions, representing more than 7,500 employers, unions and local governments, and approximately 35 million employees and dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. NBCH seeks to accelerate the nation’s progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality health care and the improved health status of the American population. www.nbch.org


NBCH Assessment Finds PBMs Strong in Specialty Management, Weak in Race / Ethnicity Data

Evaluation intended to direct quality discussions in contracting and accountability

WASHINGTON – March 30, 2015 – A recent assessment of quality and services provided by six major Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) by the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) showed that most have a broad range of programs in place to manage specialty pharmaceuticals, but are lacking in some areas, particularly identifying the race, ethnicity, and languages spoken by members.

Assessment participants included: Cigna, EnvisionRx, Express Scripts, OptumRx, PerformRx and UnitedHealthcare. The assessment examined a cross-section of PBMs, including large “carve-outs,” where an employer contracts directly with the PBM, and integrated “carve-in” plans where prescription coverage is handled by the medical plans.

 


Key findings:

• All six PMS had programs in place related to physician administration of chemotherapy drugs


Four of the six use a split-fill program, intended to reduce the waste incurred if patients discontinue expensive specialty drugs after 14 days.


All provided actual results from at least one of their specialty waste control programs to reduce waste/inappropriate use.


There is an inconsistency in managing opioid misuse. Even with the growing opioid problem, only two of the PBMs could provide opioid abuse information based on a retrospective analysis of claims using third party specifications. 


“Not only was it reassuring to see a focus on specialty drug management, given the growing expense in biologics, the assessment tool’s focus on utilization management and the consumer experience separates it from the standard RFP process ” said Don Creveling, executive director, Montana Association of Health Care Purchasers and NBCH board member.

John Miller, an NBCH Board Member and executive director for the MidAtlantic Business Group on Health commented, “It was surprising that only one PBM proactively gathers race and language information on new members. While all responded that adherence programs are in place to keep members on their treatment regimens, it’s difficult to effectively communicate with members if the PBMs don’t understand their members’ ethnic and language preferences. Employers can share part of the blame as they aren’t asking their PBMs to identify the ethnicity and language of their members. Why go through the expense and effort, if your customers don’t care?”

This was the first year of the NBCH PBM Quality Assessment, an evidence-based resource based on the eValue8 Health Plan Assessment that was created by business coalitions and employers like Marriott and General Motors to measure and evaluate health plan performance as an accountability tool and basis for conversation. The NBCH PBM Assessment asks health plans and PBMs probing questions about how they manage critical PBM processes that ensure appropriate utilization, reduce and eliminate waste, ensure patient safety, and improve health and health care.

 

“The purpose of the assessment is to give employers a tool they can use to have direct discussions about quality with incumbent and prospective PBMs,” said Brian Klepper, NBCH CEO. “The results are being distributed to thousands of employers through 27 of our regional coalitions and we encourage more PBMs to participate, to share their stories with employer-purchasers, and benchmark their performance for their own internal quality improvement efforts.”

About the National Business Coalition on Health

National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is a national nonprofit membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions, representing more than 7,500 employers, unions and local governments, and approximately 35 million employees and dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. NBCH seeks to accelerate the nation’s progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality health care and the improved health status of the American population. www.nbch.org


Engaging Workers Year Round Ranks among Employers' Top Communications Challenges, According to Benz Communications and NBCH Survey


Employers missing out on big and meaningful chances to communicate with employees in frequent, personalized and accessible ways


WASHINGTON — Nov. 11, 2014 — Most employers (56%) say improving employees’ understanding and perceived value of benefits is their main focus, yet companies still lack personalized benefits communication at a time when it’s commonly expected by employees. These are among the findings of a new survey of more than 330 employers conducted by the non-profit National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications.

A collaborative effort, the 2014 Inside Benefits Communication Survey gathered key data from HR/benefits professionals about their benefits communication approaches, strategies and results.These findings are the second of two reports — the first report, released last month, detailed employers’ views on benefits through the lens of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other industry mandates and trends.

Key findings

• Professionals spent the most time over the last year working to improve employees’ understanding and perceived value of benefits (56%). Time dedicated to lowering overall health plan costs was second (47%), followed by maintaining overall compliance (47%).

• Communication is largely credited as a main driver in helping companies meet benefits goals as respondents were confident about achieving their goals in 2013, with more than 80% saying they reached all or some of their benefits goals last year. Communication played a major part in this success; 73% say benefits communication helped them meet their goals last year.

• Keeping employees and families engaged in their benefits year-round was noted as the largest communications challenge (75%). Flawed approaches continue, however, as the majority (64%) say they only communicate with employees once a year at annual enrollment, and 46% measure success only by reduced calls to the HR/benefits department.


• Forty-one percent of respondents rely on first-hand feedback via employee surveys/focus groups to gauge success, while others lean on numeric metrics like:

oReduced benefit costs (40%)

oImproved wellness biometrics (26%)

oReduced employee health risks (25%)

oIncreased retirement plan participation/account balances (24%)

• Employers are moving to embrace online and mobile channels to reach employees with benefits messages with 90% saying they put benefits information online. However, respondents are slower to leverage newer technologies and drop traditional IT protocols to reach a broader population: Just half (50%) place benefits information outside the firewall, accessible for spouses/partners and other family members; only 40% have their Internet sites optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

• While just 15% of respondents are using social media in benefits communication, it is a bold minority—of that 15%, 50% use Facebook to communicate; 37% use blogs and 31% use Twitter. Most (57%) have been using social media for one to three years, indicating that employers using these channels have just begun to scratch the surface on their potential to drive communication success and benefits results.

• Sixty percent of 2014 respondents say their annual budget for benefits communication is less than $25,000. Three-quarters of respondents say that amount has remained flat over the last year. Plus, one-half spend the majority of that budget on one-time costs—printing or mailing.


“Given that health care benefits are critical to employer recruiting and retention efforts, it’s important that we better understand how organizations are addressing their benefits communications in light of industry changes due to health care reform and compliance issues,” said Brian Klepper, NBCH CEO. "This is really about what it takes to be much more effective.”

The research gathered key data from 333 human resource/benefits professionals about their benefits communication approaches, strategies and results. Respondents spanned a wide cross-section of geographic regions, corporate industries and business coalition affiliations. Respondents are largely concentrated in the service and technology industries, located mainly in the Southeast and West regions of the United States. Most respondents’ have a population of 1,000–5,000 U.S.-based employees. Full survey details, including a sharable infographic illustrating the findings, can be found at http://www.nbch.org/ibcsurvey.


“While we’re disappointed that there hasn’t been bigger movement forward among employers using what we know are communication best practices, we’re encouraged that the data show there is a clear contingent of leading-edge practitioners who are working to use communication to bring benefits value to the forefront for employees,” said Jennifer Benz, founder and CEO of Benz Communications. “As costs continue to rise and employees accept more of the financial responsibility for managing their health and benefits, it’s the employers who make investments in effective communication who will rise to the top in all the ways the matter—recruiting, retention, cost-management and employee satisfaction.”

About Benz Communications

Benz Communications is a benefits communications strategy boutique creating integrated employee benefits campaigns for employers committed to nurturing high-performing and satisfied employees. Benz Communications' clients include Fortune 500 companies and Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. The firm has also created a group of innovative toolkits and resources to help companies educate employees about health and financial benefits.

About the National Business Coalition on Health

National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) is a national nonprofit membership organization of purchaser-led health care coalitions, representing more than 7,500 employers, unions and local governments, and approximately 35 million employees and dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. NBCH seeks to accelerate the nation’s progress toward safe, efficient, high-quality health care and the improved health status of the American population. www.nbch.org

 

 

 

 

 

 



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