The average family premium for health insurance in the united states has climbed from $8,003 in 2001 to $12,680 in 2008. If today’s inflation rate remains relatively the same, the cost will exceed $27,000 per family in just 10 years.
Employers recognize that health care costs are at an all-time high which means their benefits costs are also at a record high. While employees look to their employers for the comprehensive benefits they deserve, more and more, companies are seeing health care as a two way street between employer and employee. According to the National Business Group on Health, 74 percent of employers believe their employees should be held accountable for their health status and maintenance. However, only four percent of employers believe they have the appropriate programs in place to help their employees take charge of their health.
Fortunately, insurance brokers and physicians who specialize in executive medicine have stepped up to assist companies of all sizes offer employee health incentive programs that ultimately will reduce claims and thus save their clients money on their benefits plan. Here are four companies in Dallas who saw a need in Dallas businesses and have made a healthy difference in their clients’ bottom lines and more importantly, their employees’ quality of life.
Holmes Murphy & Associates, founded in 1932, is the one of the largest independent risk-management and insurance-brokerage firm in the United States. Holmes Murphy has a long track record of consistently providing employers with innovative answers to the ever-increasing challenge of rising health care costs, and has assembled the finest staff of benefit professionals whose experience is matched by their intelligence and integrity in delivering measurable results for CEOs and their employees.
However, Holmes Murphy is not just another brokerage firm working to leverage their size and buying power for the clients they serve. And their mission goes well beyond the placement of insurance products and services. Rather, their focus is on measurably reducing the production of disease that is driving the majority of health care costs for their clients. And they have the results to prove it working with leading companies in construction, food service, health care, hospitality, law, manufacturing, professional associations, real estate, development, retail, telecommunications, transportation, and warehousing.
Den Bishop, president of Holmes Murphy, says in recent years, Holmes Murphy has noticed a flaw in the current way companies manage their benefit plans. The focus is on managing current health claims and individuals with existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or cancer. Instead, their focus is to concentrate on measurably slowing down the production of new disease before a catastrophic event occurs. The key question employers should be asking is, “Can my company use health insurance to actually slow the production of disease rather than simply reimburse the cost of treating disease?”
The math makes sense. In any given year, companies will expect to see approximately four percent of their insured population drive 60 percent or more of the cost. Holmes Murphy has demonstrated success in identifying and reversing the risks for the next four percent before they incur this cost, thus eliminating claims from the system altogether. The result: fewer heart attacks, strokes, diabetic events, Alzheimer’s, and even some forms of cancer.
“We work with our clients to determine their employee’s current metabolic syndrome, a cluster of lab tests that determine present and future risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” Bishop says. “Three out of five positive results indicate a metabolic syndrome. When we can identify a person who has multiple alarms going off, we now know they have a greater likelihood of making larger claims. A person with at least three risks present has a 300 percent increased risk for a heart attack and more than 500 percent greater risk for developing diabetes. We realized it’s better to slow the progression of the disease now rather than waiting on the claims to tell us there is a problem.”
The significance of this impact for companies, as well as to the overall health care system is tremendous and motivated Holmes Murphy to expand their vision to the broader challenges facing the “health” of America. So in 2007, they launched a new affiliate company called Trajectory Health, LLC that assists insurers, hospital systems, and other health care providers in this new and exciting understanding. Holmes Murphy and Trajectory Health partnered with Dallas-based Naturally Slim, Inc. which provides a 10-week “clinical” wellness program. In more than 49 percent of cases, people who took advantage of the Naturally Slim program through their companies not only slowed down, but reversed their metabolic syndrome. Brinker, Sabre Holdings, Turner Construction, and Greyhound are some of Holmes Murphy’s clients who have successfully implemented this wellness program. “The body was designed to heal,” Bishop says. “If we can identify, educate, and motivate these at-risk individuals, their bodies will start to heal thereby avoiding diseases that are currently developing in their bodies. When these employees move from a high risk group to a normal risk group, claims will go down and ultimately our clients’ insurance costs will go down.” www.holmesmurphy.com
The tumultuous state of today’s economy is prompting many companies to review and reassess their employer-sponsored benefit programs. With the ability to save clients as much as 25 percent of their current costs associated with health and wellness plans and as part of the world’s largest privately held insurance broker, Lockton Companies, LLC, Lockton Dunning Benefits possesses the breadth of expertise to assess your company’s needs and the depth of resources to implement a plan that provides the best value for the investment. Lockton’s clients benefit from a team that includes staff resident nurses who provide clinical risk management, expert claims assistance from staff attorneys/litigation specialists, and alternative risk reviews and program design from its staff of CPA’s and actuaries. With this team of experts, Lockton Dunning Benefits partners with clients to ensure their employee benefits investment is poised for optimum return.
Lockton’s benefits consulting experts have hundreds of years of combined experience, solving complex challenges and preparing in-depth analyses such as cost/benefit comparisons, overall health and wellness assessments, as well as developing optimal benefit plans for each unique customer in an ever-changing and evolving industry. Many clients consider Lockton Dunning Benefits an extension of their internal teams. Working with your Human Resources team, Lockton enhances employee benefits, delivers data analytics and wellness services and improves employee communication making it easier for employers to recruit and retain talented people. Throughout the process, Lockton provides the best possible value for a company’s investment in employee benefits both domestically and internationally.
“We have transformed the traditional way employers offer employees health benefits,” says Bruce Sammis, CEO of Lockton Dunning Benefits in Dallas. “Our company helps clients discover ways to lower their benefits costs by giving their employees an opportunity to change specific behaviors that contribute to poor health. We can do this in simple ways such as encouraging generic over name-brand prescription drugs and recommending employees visit a doctor rather than the emergency room. We can also achieve this by driving people to take better care of themselves through education, awareness and incentives.”
As the largest privately-held consulting broker in the United States, Lockton has a strong voice when representing its clients’ needs to major carriers and administrators. Lockton works closely with a large group of insurance carriers and administrators. Their collective offerings span a broad range of benefits with a depth of choices. As a dedicated consulting broker, your Lockton team will identify and recommend options from these numerous offerings to create an integrated, comprehensive solution that matches the uniqueness and strategies of your organization.
Dr. Larry Levy, an on-staff physician with Lockton in Dallas, says that 60 to 70 percent of a person’s health is directly related to lifestyle choices such as what we eat, weight, physical activity level, and smoking. “By helping your employees change their negative behaviors, you are decreasing their risk for disease rather significantly,” Dr. Levy says. “Behavior management also protects the company from absenteeism due to illness and reduced productivity. Making it easy for employees to manage their health by providing wellness assessments and incentives increases the chance of improving the health of your employees and ultimately reducing your benefits costs. Change happens when you make the focus about health, not health insurance.” www.lockton.com
Executive Medicine of Texas is a group of highly qualified experts in the field of executive medicine led by founders Dr. Walter Gaman and Dr. James Mark Anderson who are dedicated to bringing the most advanced health care available to their patients. Executive Medicine of Texas strives to provide a thorough medical evaluation in preventative medicine to busy individuals in a comfortable, five-star, state-of-the-art setting with private suites. The practice is a premier executive wellness center offering comprehensive executive physicals in a half day with no waiting, including advanced nuclear cardiac testing, cancer screening body scans, virtual colonoscopy, and the Biophysical 250 blood test. Patients gain a clear understanding of their health status and needs, and physicians provide them with defined goals and strategies to enhance their health and quality of life.
Drs. Anderson and Gaman are the authors of “Executive Medicine: Optimizing Your Chances for a Longer Life.” They understand that executives are experiencing tremendous pressures and stress, particular in a challenging economy, which can lead to serious health issues if not diagnosed and treated. “Executives are unique in that they experience stress in moderate to high levels for extended periods. The physician that is right for you should be in tune to your needs, and should be well versed in the field of executive health,” Dr. Gaman says. In addition to the exam, the physicians assist patients with identifying personalized stress management strategies as well as diet and fitness regimes. Having an Executive Physical Exam is an in-depth way to look at what’s going on inside your body, your overall health and wellness. Exams vary for men and women and include a comprehensive one-on-one consultation and extensive medical history review, advanced lab testing, lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness assessment, nasal laryngoscopy, and mammogram and pap smear. Exams can also include Nuclear Thallium Stress Testing, virtual colonoscopy, and CT body scans. Patients receive follow-up consultations and recommendations, and 24/7 direct access to their physician and the Executive Medicine staff. www.emtexas.com
Texas Mutual Insurance Company is the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance, offering premier services at competitive prices. Serving Texas since 1991, Texas Mutual Insurance Company strives to reduce the costs of on-the-job injuries and illnesses to employers, employees, and communities and supports economic development by providing a stable, competitive source of workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, the company provides quality workers’ compensation insurance-related products and services.
Texas Mutual Insurance Company offers competitive premiums and discount options and designed its workers’ comp health care network to reduce the cost of injuries. It’s known for focused claim management, zero tolerance for fraud, and versatile coverage options that meets the needs of most Texas businesses. www.texasmutual.com