Tell us a little about yourself. Background, accomplishments and something no one knows about you.
I am a wife, mother of two, and an active entrepreneur specializing in healthcare cost-containment strategy, human resources ROI, and strategic business consulting. Referred to by peers as the “Compassionate Advocate,” I am passionate about serving others, advocating for employers, and creating efficient healthcare delivery channels that control employer costs.
From the early years of my consulting career, I had the unique opportunity to serve as broker and consultant for a number of progressive healthcare providers and their employer-sponsored health plans. I served several of these providers through their reorganizations prior to the implementation of healthcare reform. This experience provided extensive exposure from inside the tent of the healthcare system pre and post implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It enabled my partners and I to become active students of healthcare and conduct numerous managed care and healthcare delivery studies. We received invaluable insights to better understand the underlying cost-drivers affecting our healthcare system that ultimately impact employer-sponsored health plans. Our early-adopter healthcare clients were extremely instrumental in allowing us to test and develop innovative approaches related to our findings.
One of our healthcare provider clients was among the most innovative, select few providers in the country to participate in Medicare’s ACE Pilot project. My team and I subsequently became among the first healthcare consultants in our region to pioneer the commercial/private payer distribution of global-fee provider reimbursement strategies. This market innovation has opened numerous doors over the years – allowing us to extend what we have learned inside the healthcare system beyond Medicare and on to private and commercial employer health plans. It has further opened doors in allowing us to meet with leaders in Washington and at the state level to serve as an active voice in the efforts to reshape America’s healthcare reform system.
As for something that few people know about me — several years back, I stumbled upon the teachings of John Maxwell, an internationally-recognized business leadership expert and author. I had the opportunity to train directly with him in 2011, and ultimately became a founding member the John Maxwell Leadership Certification program. John and his teachings have had an incredible influence on me over the years – both personally and professionally. (Only those closest to me know that I am a closet “Maxwellian” junkie!)
How did you get started in your business?
I began my career on the regulatory side serving in the executive division of the Oklahoma Insurance Department. A few years later, I transitioned to serving as the executive vice president of business development for $1.5 billion financial institution, and launched my career in financial services and business consulting. By my early thirties, I had co-founded and was serving as shareholder and CEO of a full-service business consulting firm that quickly thrived to become a multi-million dollar agency. Following the sale of that business, a few close business partners and I launched EmployerAdvocates, a thriving, technologically-advanced business consulting firm where I currently serve as principal and CEO. (We simultaneously launched Advocates for Life, a private foundation supporting the under-served in our communities.)
From the beginning, my vision and focus has been on serving others, aggressively advocating for employers, and solving complex financial problems. Healthcare cost-containment strategy just so happens to be among the largest financial problems that employers face today with respect to their long-term sustainability. As such, while our team continues to deliver exceptional compliance, HR, risk management and business consulting – the delivery of high-impact, innovative healthcare cost-containment strategy has become our utmost differentiation.
Who is your target client?
Our largest health plan client covers approximately 20,000 members and our average client health plans cover 1,000-5,000 members. We represent clients across multiple industry sectors, geographies, and sizes.
Our target client is any employer who sponsors a group health plan, who values innovative cost-containment strategies and measurable ROI, and covers 100 or more employees on their health plan. Having said that, we are committed to providing education and information to employers of any size. We often do so through our training resources, webinars, public speaking engagements, community outreach, and industry education programs offered at little to no cost to the employer.
What is the solution you provide to their problem?
We have built a business model that consistently delivers innovative, cost-containment solutions with a very real and tangible ROI. Our strategies deliver results, allowing employer-sponsored healthcare to become sustainable. We put employers back in control of their healthcare plans and have done so using such creative solutions as: provider performance monitoring and management, global fee contract negotiation, medical tourism, competitive provider bid processes, value-based reimbursement strategy, gain-sharing models, systematic pharmacy negotiation strategies inside the health plan, active pharmacy AWP inflationary tracking models, exclusive contract pharmacy arrangements, 340b pricing strategies, and so on. Our most recent ground-breaking research and development involves the potential commoditization of certain healthcare services through vouchers purchased at today’s market values to help employers manage future inflationary costs. We are constantly “in the lab” — creating and testing emerging cost-mitigation strategies. Our full suite of tested and proven solutions are literally reversing the long-term trajectory of healthcare inflationary trend for our actively-managed employer-sponsored health plan clients.
We have had the pleasure of serving as the broker and consultant for hundreds of self-funded health plans over the years, and have successfully helped fully insured plans convert to self-funding or captive funding models — regaining control of their destiny. Our actively-managed health plans continue to perform below the healthcare market inflationary trend.
What is one thing that your potential clients need know about regarding choosing your service?
We put our money where our mouth is and guarantee our results. By that, I mean that we put a percent of our fee at risk for delivering tangible savings that well outweigh our consulting fees, and often offer deliverables based on a percent of savings basis. Our focus is on health plan cost savings, versus passive cost-shifting through plan design. Whether fully insured or self-funded, if an employer is looking for true cost-containment strategy without sacrificing quality or plan design for its members, they owe it to themselves to request a preliminary assessment.