In the health benefits world, the mad scramble toward January renewals/starts has subsided and attention has turned to the annual cycle of review necessary to gauge progress. How did we do? The plan review process generally centers on analytics to gauge progress or regress and to identify “areas of opportunity.” Good. The right data with the right insights is critical to assessing efforts made to manage costs and improve outcomes.

However, the big look at data and associated insights often misses a key perspective: that of the member. What is the view of the plan participant, employee, mother, son, or husband who is actually impacted by the decisions we make as health plan sponsors? In the big look on data, we look for big levers to pull across big groups of members hoping to have a big impact on costs. But real change happens in the little: the step by step, patient by patient, call by call, and day-in-day-out efforts to impact individuals who ultimately determine the success, or failure, of our health plan strategies.

In recognition of this “little way” of making a big difference, we’ve compiled below some of the voices that often get lost in the noise of the big machinery driving U.S. healthcare. By focusing on smaller units of impact, doing the hard work centered on individual progress, and showing up with a stewardship mindset along the way, we see a path to fundamental and lasting change for the people struggling to manage it all as well as compelling validation for the companies wanting to sponsor success.

“As the mother of a child in this program, we couldn’t believe how much was covered. We were blown away. Before we had to use Optum’s “ship once every 3 months model” and worry that something my daughter needed wasn’t going to be in the shipment. We also appreciate the local aspect, the comfort it brings knowing if we ever need anything you are there. Diabetes is such a burden to deal with, but this has made it manageable for my family.”

“I’ve lost 87 lbs! At the beginning I was pre-diabetic with sugar in the 300’s – now I’ve learned I’m no longer a Diabetic AT ALL and my A1c is down to 5.4.”

“I just wanted to tell you how much it means to me that when I call you, you pick up the phone. I can’t seem to get answers anywhere else – wanted you to know I appreciate that.”

“Before I started, my A1C was up in the 9’s with sugar in the high 200’s. Now, my sugar is in the low 100’s, sometimes even 95 and my A1C is 7.5. I’m not eating nearly as much as I used to and have added tons of blueberries and cantaloupe to my diet and my weight is down from 230 to 213!”

“Tuesday morning I received a call from Northwind saying they realized that I have been without my medicine for a long time and they were going to have an employee drop the medicine off at my house, (OMG Excellent Customer Service) I said you don’t have to do that, she said there is a snow storm coming tonight and we want to make sure that you have your medicine. When I got home from work two large boxes with all my medicine was there. My glucose number is within a normal range and my health is feeling better! Thank you for the new Diabetic Management program.”

“I used to have sugars in the 500s, A1C over 11, I was so sluggish and felt horrible! My sugars are now down to 85-110 I feel so much better. I’m no longer excessively thirsty and completely cut out sugar, cut back on pastas, no potatoes in months…now, at the end of the day instead of falling asleep on the couch, I can stay awake and actually see my children!”

“I feel better than I have in 25 years. I think that says it all, don’t you?”

Yes, we do.

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Betsy Bigler | Mar 7th, 2024
INDIANAPOLIS, March 7, 2024 – Northwind has announced the addition of Tony Purkey as Senior Vice President, Client Strategies. “Demand from our self-funded employer and union clients is driving rapid growth,” said Phillip Berry, CEO. “Tony Purkey joins Northwind at a time when we need high-integrity leaders with expert knowledge in employer-sponsored health and the … more »

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