Leaving for San Diego. I despise flying. Feeling nervous and anxious. Never been to the west coast before. Just want to touch the Pacific Ocean – I’ll explain later in this post.
On the plane, I realized that we live in a really big country.
Walked and explored the area. What a beautiful city. Good choice for a location by the Q4i team.
Afternoon starting to see my Q4intelligence people. They are the innovators, disrupters, and thought leaders in this community. The people I’m sharing ideas with and learning from.
I am humbled to be a part of this group.
Morning meeting with Josh Butler, who is a great guy and an advocate for the Amarillo market. As we wind up, attendees for lunch for the Health Rosetta trickle in, both new entrants and charter members. Exciting developments and tools for employers to reduce costs and be more logical when evaluating their benefits.
After a welcome from The Godfather of Q4i, Kevin Trokey, Dr. Josh Luke, author of “Health-Wealth, 9 Steps to Financial Recovery” gave an awesome introduction to the conference. As an ex-hospital CEO, some of the takeaways from him were:
- Leverage Local Medical tourism; so rather than domestic medical tourism in Oklahoma or international medical tourism in Costa Rica, research shows that employees would be willing to drive up to 35 miles for a medical service if it were shown to save money and quality was improved.
- Businesses should encourage employees to become an engaged healthcare consumer and provide tools to help them be one.
- Hospital systems and physicians are the legacy carrier’s customers – not the premium payers and policy holders.
- Most important take-away from Dr. Luke is the most dangerous phrase in healthcare: “Don’t worry, your insurance will pay for it.”
Tim Doherty participated in an Oprah style interview with the Godmother of Q4i, Wendy Keneipp. Tim’s points were well received and hit home with me as my market is not ready to jump off the cliff into non-network based, value based insurance design (VBID).
The process and progression in getting to VBID was outlined and each incremental step to a high performing plan was discussed. Biggest takeaway…one step at a time, making progressive steps toward a better, lower cost plan.
Third Party Administrator (TPA) and reinsurance discussions were given by Continental Benefits, Wellnet, The Difference Card, and One Beacon.
Independent, transparent TPAs are gems in the employer-funded health plan space. Combine them with a forward thinking re-insurer, and you begin to see why the future is bright for employers open to considering non-legacy plan options.
Deb Ault From AIMM kicked off the afternoon session with a frank conversation about medical management. Again, highlighting the deficiencies in the current model, with nurse case manager to patient ratios of 1:60,000 with a legacy plan as compared to 1:5000 under a client-centered plan. You’ve heard the phrase “the riches are in the niches”… well, in the case of Nurse Deb, “the savings are in the niches” of medical management.
The big elephant in the room of healthcare costs is prescription drugs. Bill Hepscher from Rx Manage pointed out how truly screwed up and schizophrenic our FDA is when it comes to international sourcing of prescriptions and the conflicted interests of the FDA director. He pointed out how Ironic it was that our FDA allows bacon, beer, and maple syrup in from Canada, but it won’t allow lower cost prescription drugs from Canada.
Allay is a tool to help advisors put together these forward thinking medical plan options. Julian Emery is the CEO and had a very hard-hitting take on medical trend. He refers to it as “uncapped inflation”, and it is not accepted in any other aspect of the economy except health insurance.
Direct Primary Care (DPC) champion Rhea Campbell from ImagineMD discussed DPC and ImagineMD with the group as only she can. Her energy on the subject is infectious, and one comes away motivated to spread the message of DPC.
Dinner on Tuesday night hosted by Apostrophe. Apostrophe is deserving of its own write up. Stay tuned for another post on that.
Morning discussion centered around motivation and mental health. Alex Lickerman from ImagineMD presented an overview of his book “The Undefeated Mind: The Science of Constructing and indestructible Self.” This is a must read for industry leaders, coaches, and individuals looking for understanding on motivation and perseverance. A lot of what Dr. Lickerman discussed resonated with me personally, and I am very thankful for the Q4i team for adding him to the speaker list.
Last, but not least, Pete Travis discussed hiring in the 21st Century. Pete may have missed his calling as a stand-up comedian. His focus is on staffing for insurance agencies. As I grow in my practice, Pete is one I will keep in my contact list when the time comes to look for my own employees.
On a personal note, I spent the rest of the afternoon being Ferris Bueller. Went to a Padres game and then to the beach to touch the Pacific. This was a quest of mine, as my older sister, who was supposed to attend with me, was diagnosed, fought, and beat a serious illness, and touching the pacific was on her bucket list. She backed out of coming on the trip to San Diego with me due to a setback in her recovery, so I went to the ocean for her. She is my best friend and mentor, and It was important that I gave her something to be happy about. So I was the wacko videoing myself walking into the waves at Coronado. It’s the little things in life, isn’t it?
Q4i is a tremendous resource for me professionally. If your broker/agent/advisor is not in a professional group like this one, maybe you should question them about what groups or networks they are a part of and how they are staying on top of industry insights and trends. Ultimately, as much as being a part of Q4i is great for me as an advisor; you, the employer, benefit as well. Everything discussed at these get-togethers is geared toward making your business and the lives of your employees better.
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