The ShiftShapers Podcast (general)

How can plan participants use transparency tools to stay in network, but still find less expensive, higher quality care? Bill Hennessey is CEO at Pratter, Inc. and says the data proves – without argument – that providing transparency tools that are easy to use will help employers and their employees bust through the price/quality walls.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2ZZcWtD

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS280.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

How does a nationally-recognized agency owner keep the joy in what she does – and what are her secrets for accomplishing that goal? Tanya Boyd, of the eponymous Tanya Boyd Agency, suggests we “quit it with the noise” and how to handle it when obstacles, limitations and beliefs collide.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2YABUTB 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS279.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With all the noise and change in our industry, some find chaos and others find opportunity. Some of us need a Sherpa to help climb that opportunity market. But how do you get started, what do you look for in a guide or coach and how can you get to the summit? Ryan Miller is a fellow podcaster, coach and public speaker who talks to us about the help we all need to reach our peak of production.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2KcuLim

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS278.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With all the noise and change in our industry, some find chaos and others find opportunity. Some of us need a Sherpa to help climb that opportunity market. But how do you get started, what do you look for in a guide or coach and how can you get to the summit? Ryan Miller is a fellow podcaster, coach and public speaker who talks to us about the help we all need to reach our peak of production.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2MaVWwE

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS277.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Shannon Skaggs, President at Quantum Health, knows that the average significant health event lasts 11 months, involves 5-7 providers and requires the patient to make 41 decisions. On this episode, Shannon explores how a patient can deal with all of that and discusses the tools and techniques that are available to help them.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2YVifdj

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS276.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Steve Watson is a CFO/CHRO of a 500-life group who has learned that there is a critical lack of understanding about benefits among his peers. In this interview, Steve offers his candid impressions about his efforts to educate other C-suite leaders and how benefits advisors can be more effective when talking with them.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2YMwyRn 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS275.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

We have had guests talk about benefits and P&C mergers, but how do you create a successful joint venture between benefits and accounting firms while managing the complexities of a highly regulated market? On this episode, we chat with Adam Rosenfeld, President of BT Benefits about the challenges and successes of just such a joint venture.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2J8HH9K

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS274.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

How do you deal with a bifurcated market, and what can we learn from our Taft/Hartley cousins? Jim Garrison, President at Pacific Federal, a private TPA in Southern California, discusses that and more in this episode.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Nf1AQm 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS273.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

A personal encounter with the medical system led to a decision that making a difference required a different approach. So Adam Berkowitz launched an agency that takes a new-day perspective in its operations and interactions with clients.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2XrwLff 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS272.mp3
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Creating a pharmacy model that provides help for underserved populations using reclaimed prescriptions required a pharmacist with a mission, a change in legislation and a vision. Phil Baker is a pharmacist on a mission who has created a whole that is more than just the sum of its parts.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Rc9MPL 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS271.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With the massive amount of creative disruption happening in our industry, the need for advisor education is greater than ever. The University of Lynchburg’s Tom Scott has relied on industry experts and others to create a new Masters degree which focuses on the practical aspects of the new world of health benefits.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2EYmexQ 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS270.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With the massive amount of creative disruption happening in our industry, the need for advisor education is greater than ever. The University of Lynchburg’s Tom Scott has relied on industry experts and others to create a new Masters degree which focuses on the practical aspects of the new world of health benefits.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2WxYZo8 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS269.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With all of the focus on deconstructing health plans, the technical aspects of self-funding, advising clients on compliance, and more – it is often hard to remember the amount of good we do as an industry. Advisor Tom DiLiegro’s experience as a young man drove that point home in a very personal and long-lasting way.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2EoXezi

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS268.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

It doesn’t do a lot of good if a firm has the best benefit plans in the world, but the employees don’t really know about them or understand how they work. What are some of the key tools and techniques you should use to make sure your client’s message is getting through? Ellen Anreder, Owner of Bleiweiss Communications, has spent her career helping Taft/Hartley Plans and others do just that.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2LHqbwD 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS267.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Many firms are diversifying their client offerings and beefing up their value propositions to achieve success in the current environment. Some firms are finding that path by offering HR services. Barry Cohn and his wife’s firm have been moving in that direction and are about to make a big-time change to their practice.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2DX0j9E 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS266.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Deconstructing health plans is a challenge – especially so in small markets. What are those conversations like, and is it possible to achieve success with new health plan strategies outside of large markets? Josh Baker, President of Butler Benefits in Amarillo, Texas, shares his experience and success secrets with us.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2PJc2gB

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS265.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

There is a great deal of discussion in our industry about “deconstructing” health plans and the benefits available when an employer embraces a deconstructed plan while working with the correct advisor. Robson Baker, advisor at Clarus Benefits, has studied this strategy and has great advice for those already working on deconstructed plans, and for those who aspire to help employers embrace this technique. 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2XFMzHR 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS264.mp3
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Western medicine is not the only way to achieve health and wellbeing. How can Yoga and meditation affect your clients' health care spend and create a better environment for their employees? Naama Pozniak, CEO of A+ Insurance Services, has dedicated herself to bringing those disciplines to advisors and their clients.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2IqgGiO 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS263.mp3
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Within our own firm – and for clients – technology has become an often-confusing maze of choices. How do you know what to look for and how to make the right long-term choice? Jeff Severson, President of Trinity Advisors, has made a career of learning how to keep advisors and their clients from falling into tech traps.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2P3eLkY 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS262.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

From application to claims, DI is a bit of a different animal. Underwriting is both medical and financial, and policy provisions are (understandably) more complex than a life sale. Death is not subjective, but disabilities are, and oftentimes this leads to claim challenges. Eric Buchanan, JD, and his firm help claimants when the rubber meets the road.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2I7RlcF 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS261.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Product, marketing and technical knowledge alone are not enough to be effective with today’s prospects and clients. Dana Dombrowski, a coach with Hit The Ground Running, shares some of her tips and techniques for advisors who need to listen more carefully, speak more clearly, and act more deliberately.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2U7RK5h  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS260.mp3
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A client called to tell Jennifer Borislow that two employees who were away on vacation had an accident and informed her that one died, one has serious injuries. The client asked for help and Jennifer soon learned that because the employees were young and had not done much – if any – advance planning, sorting through all of the challenges for them and their families would become a very complicated matter. Founder of Borislow Insurance, Jennifer reflected on how to keep this from happening to others and she and two agency specialists wrote a new book, If I Had Only Known.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2XKsmS2  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS259.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Taylor Lindsey is a partner at Employee Benefit Consultants, but he is also the fourth-generation member of the firm and he is working to morph this highly-respected old-line agency into a totally modern value-based, data-driven firm. Listen in and learn some of the tools and techniques he has employed to overcome that challenge.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2TFOoWY 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Increased interest in self-funded plans means more clients are gaining access to data, but data without interpretation that creates actionable changes is pretty much useless. Ross Bjella, CEO of Alithias knows how to make that happen –and shares his insight on this episode.

Get full show notes and more information here: https://bit.ly/2Um6A53 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Wellness is evolving, but it is also an often-challenging subject for advisors. What is working and what isn’t? What will provide a demonstrable ROI and how do you set expectations and position these programs with prospects and clients? Ed Buckley, Chairman and CEO of Peerfit, has studied this area for years and has the answers you need to make wellness an integral part of your offerings.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2XsjgJh 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Our guest on this episode, Jacques Loveall, is Chairman of the United Food and Commercial Workers Trust, which, after being buffeted by the system as end users and an (almost) afterthought, has made some long-overdue changes in ownership and control of healthcare delivery. It is has been a fascinating journey, and they are just getting started.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2BHq7pa 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS255.mp3
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Contributor Jessica Waltman joins us for her quarterly visit to discuss the legislative and regulatory changes going on in Washington. Beyond the jockeying for the 2020 Presidential race, there is a great deal going on that you may not have been able to hear about over that din. Listen in to learn what you should be paying attention to and how it might affect your prospects and clients.

Get full show notes and more information here: https://bit.ly/2SN0RYd

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS254.mp3
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In Mel Schlesinger’s new book, The Better Medicare Solution: What No One Is Telling You, he does the math and lays out his belief that Medicare Supplements are a much better option for almost all consumers. He won’t even sell Medicare Advantage Plans! In this fast-paced interview, Mel makes the case and explains why.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2HUw8Ep

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Can you create an agency that is focused more on relationships and results than on the traditional sales-driven mentality? That’s what Braden Monaco, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Blue Horizon Benefits, set out to learn. Along the way, he and his team created a concept they call the “Total Concierge Approach,” which creates true results-driven partnerships. Braden shares his firm’s journey and what they learned – good and bad – along the way.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2sVFa9Q 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS252.mp3
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Mark Blum has taken a very different path to get to the healthcare universe – starting as a labor organizer and negotiator who quickly found healthcare to be the most frequent stumbling stone in negotiations. The determination to find a way to resolve that issue has brought him to some interesting destinations and some surprising conclusions along the way. He is Executive Director of America’s Agenda, a non-profit healthcare delivery innovation center, and also serves as President of SolidaritUS Health.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2Dtcpra  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS251.mp3
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We have had a few guests discussing RBP, but the inevitable comments come down to how to implement it successfully more than how the components work (or occasionally – don’t work). Lester Morales is CEO of Next Impact, and he shares his extensive experience about how to go from “here to there” without the usual client and employee fears.

Get full show notes and more information here: https://bit.ly/2TSl1Nr 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS250.mp3
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Have you finally “had it” with commission compression, but don’t have a clue about how to escape the commission boa constrictor and move toward a fee-based or hybrid practice model? Cheryl Perez, President of BIG-HR, shares her agency’s journey and offers specific advice about what KPIs to watch, how to value what you provide to clients and how to gain a competitive advantage in the process.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2siwBpd 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With the stratospheric rise in advisor interest in self-funding as a base financing design for bringing other state-of-the-art tools to employers, it is critical for advisors to understand the components and players. Jonathan Socko is Senior Vice President for Sales & Business Development for East Coast Underwriters and offers his advice for newbies and seasoned practitioners as well.

Get full show notes and more information here: https://bit.ly/2FebA79

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In this episode, we explore some of the most common questions advisors ask about self-funding and discuss concerns ranging from minimum group size to tools and techniques. Our guest on this episode of ShiftShapers is Adam Russo, Esq., co-founder and CEO of The Phia Group, as well as the founding and managing partner at a law firm, Russo & Minchoff. He believes that, in light of the healthcare reform, the current environment is full of exciting opportunities that many brokers can take advantage of.

We also have a frank exchange about what is behind recent efforts by some Departments of Insurance to try to put the brakes on certain segments of self-funding and the potential impact that may have on employers seeking an alternate to the fully insured marketplace.

Get full show notes and more information here: http://bit.ly/2V65VVR 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS247.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Tobe Gerard shares valuable insight into how she built a successful agency specializing in long-term care insurance. She had 20 years of experience in the insurance industry before starting her firm, and for the past 15 years, she's built a highly efficient, effective and successful agency using a unique strategy.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2EzblTQ 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS246.mp3
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On this episode of ShiftShapers, our guest and I discuss the new and diverse tools that advisors within the insurance industry are using to market their businesses. The fastest growing method happens to be video, and Bart Camarata is an expert on the topic.

Bart is the creator and host of BenefitAdvisor TV, where he leverages his Middle Tennessee State education to produce quality video content. Bart takes on some preconceptions about video - is it expensive to get started? and is it difficult to get started? We also discuss how advisors and agencies can begin to use video in a variety of ways to market their practices. 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2EgfxHL

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS245.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Drug costs are soaring and driving more of medical spend than ever before. The good news is that there are tools coming to market to help consumers and plans alike.

That is what our guest, Gary Becker, CEO of ScriptSourcing, and I discuss on this episode. We begin with an exploration of why prescription drugs are so much more expensive in the United States than they are in other countries. We discuss the particular drugs that are driving the pharma cost component to all-time highs.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2Qcy3b6

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS244.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Clients want more than a broker slinging the same old solutions – they want an advisor who can help them understand where the money is going, and how to control their spend over the entire claims spend continuum. Our guest on this episode, former professional poker player turned benefits advisor John Sbrocco, has spent time, money and a whole lot of effort to be that advisor, and in the 2-part interview, he shares what he has learned.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2PSECPW   

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Clients want more than a broker slinging the same old solutions – they want an advisor who can help them understand where the money is going, and how to control their spend over the entire claims spend continuum. Our guest on this episode, former professional poker player turned benefits advisor John Sbrocco, has spent time, money and a whole lot of effort to be that advisor, and in the 2-part interview, he shares what he has learned.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2DUL6HR 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Specialty drugs represent an ever-growing driver of our overall enormous drug spend. Pramod John, our guest on this episode, is CEO of Vivio Health, which is singularly focused on using outcomes revealed by data and analytics to bend the hockey-stick curve of this spending trend.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2RJwTQL  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS241.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

There is a fast-growing movement toward bundled, all-in one-price medical services that save money, provides less complexity for members, and may make networks (as we know them today) obsolete. Our guest on this episode is Stan Schwartz, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer of The Zero Card, a company which is in the forefront of making this dramatic change.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2PAR7yB 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS240.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Pharmacy costs are increasing exponentially – some estimate that they will soon represent more than a quarter of all plan spend. Yet this portion of the industry is so opaque that it is nearly impossible to accurately understand what, exactly, is being paid – and where those payments actually go. Our guest on this episode is Kent Thomas, founder of Pharmatrix, a marketing firm focused on creating a fiduciary-like environment where PBMs become fully transparent.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2SIVHtx

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS239.mp3
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Direct Primary Care (DPC) has been available for some time, but it has been marketed mainly to individuals. Today, a small number of DPC doctors and executives are making substantial strides toward breaking into the employer market. Our guest, Alex Lickerman, MD, Founder and CEO at ImagineMD, thinks the time is right and explains how it all works.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Rgzlhs 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS238.mp3
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On this episode, Megan Chiarello (Grassetto Creative) and your host – two admitted marketing geeks – discuss how to create impactful marketing campaigns and events. Megan offers her advice on the three questions you must answer to create success with your marketing efforts. We explore the differences between selling and marketing, and much more.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2PDTmy7 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS237.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

The midterms will undoubtedly create conversations and different directions for what we can expect around healthcare legislation and regulation. In part two of our two-part episode, Jessica outlines some of the thinking on both sides of the aisle, the key players to watch, and much more.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ITv5Bw 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS236.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Legislative and regulatory changes that affect your practice and your clients continue to happen despite the other noise from the Hill. In part one of this two-part interview with regular contributor Jessica Waltman, we will explore those initiatives and what you need to know to advise your clients appropriately. In part two we discuss . . . politics! Which parties are taking what positions, how they might impact the midterm elections and beyond.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2zWyiNR

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS235-1.mp3
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In our visit with, Eric Parmenter (National Leader of Value-based Care at Collective Health) we discuss a little-known metric that research proves correlates positively with growth. The Net Promoter Score has been used in other industries for more than 10 years, but despite its simplicity and effectiveness, it has not been widely applied in our industry.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2Qgftua

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS2041.mp3
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Brian Klepper, Principal at HC Performance Inc. and Worksite Health Advisors, believes that the value being delivered in today’s health care system is a “train wreck” and that many are complicit – and know that they are complicit. He explains why he believes that Fee For Service is the crack cocaine of healthcare. The good news is that Brian sees a new model emerging that focuses on delivering value across the entire health care delivery chain.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2xmUmzA 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS233.mp3
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Forbes Magazine called our guest, David Contorno, "One of America’s most innovative benefits leaders." So, what’s he up to and what tools, techniques and strategies is he bringing his clients? We discuss why the "old way" just isn’t working and how this leads employers to a dilemma. We also explore whether the advisor community is moving to a completely different delivery model.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2OgaxoR

 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Gene Thompson is both a Project Director and Director of Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI), an amazing facility that is delivering higher quality, lower cost care with greater patient satisfaction scores. Pioneered by Dr. Devi Shetti, a physician and health care visionary based in India, HCCI has become a leading model for medical tourism.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2Md71JV

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS231.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Mike Dendy is CEO and Founder at Advanced Medical Pricing Solutions (AMPS) and a student of the irrational pricing and misaligned incentives that drive today’s US healthcare system. We begin our conversation by discussing the widely-held myth of the PPO discount. From there we explore the general pricing methodologies and incentives in healthcare.

Once you wrap your head around all of that, the discussion of how often claims are incorrectly priced and what can be done about it will bring us to a conversation around a concept known as “Direct Contracting”. We will also find out why Mike thinks that healthcare is like the OPEC oil cartel.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2NsOTx5 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS230.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

David Snow is Chairman and CEO of Cedar Gate Technologies and a self-described “health care junkie” whose career has touched nearly all facets of the health care system. As such, David has a very unique view that informs how he works with and helps companies use data to drive better decision-making.

We discuss the notion that data provides multiple levels of analysis, from focusing on the patient through the other elements and constituencies in the system. David explains why there is a steep learning curve, but how we are getting better at understanding and acting on data in a timely manner that affects care and spend.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2BuiV1R 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS229.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Ten years ago, a number of physician “academies” came together to pioneer the concept of Medical Home. Today, that concept is more widely known as Direct Primary Care (DPC). Today, interest in DPC and the practice model itself is rapidly evolving. Our guest, Jon Hernandez is the CEO at PeakMed Direct Primary Care in Colorado, and he is one of the drivers who are pushing DPC into its next evolution.

In this fast-paced interview, we discuss different models of DPC and how the next version of DPC has been reverse engineered to include as many different lines of service as possible under a simple, affordable monthly pricing structure. As ever-growing personal responsibility amounts have caused some Americans to become “functionally uninsured”, interest in DPC is growing. Learn what’s new today and what is coming soon!

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2nEjn47  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS228.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

As our population ages and medicine gets better, we are dealing with more chronic disease than ever before – and it is a huge cost driver in overall medical spend. Most of it falls into five categories and it represents a significant portion of overall spend. Sterling Smith, Director of Ventures at ACAP Health, offers perspective, as well as tools and techniques advisors can use to help their clients.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2vxJNc6 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS227.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In the 40’s we hired hands. In the 80’s we hired hearts and minds. Today we hire every bit of every employee – and that includes issues they deal with in their private lives. Savvy employers understand the drag on productivity that causes, and are providing information to help employees make smarter and more informed decisions. This week’s guest, Anna Mittag, has spent her career studying this problem and crafting solutions that resonate with employees and their employers.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2O0J5e6 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS226.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

T.J. Morrison is a second-generation agency owner with an interesting insight into what is happening in the self-funded universe. He believes that the huge interest in these plans requires that they be designed and operated differently than in years past. Listen to learn why T.J. thinks RBP is like a divorce attorney and Bundled Pricing is like a pre-nuptial agreement. We explore regional differences to see what is working and what is hot in different parts of the country, and more.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2OtaEh0

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

With 23% of the US population using 3 or more prescription drugs, it is amazing that many physicians are still (essentially) guessing which drugs to prescribe. Adverse drug events cause 1 million ED visits, 280,000 hospitalizations and are the fourth leading cause of preventable death. But pharmacogenomics can alleviate all of those AND lower costs while providing a much better patient experience. Joe Spinelli, this week’s guest, explains how and talks about why your employer clients should be using this tool.    

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2L4rwgh

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS224.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

One of the benefits of moving from old-fashioned “wellness” programs to today’s wellbeing initiatives is the opportunity to include and address more of the issues employees are dealing with. One such issue has been under the radar, but is now beginning to be addressed: life challenges. In this episode we explore what that means, and why is it critically important for employers and employees alike.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2zBsYRL

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS223.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Employers are beginning to move the needle on healthcare, and advisors have their ear. There is a lot of debris from old models that needs to be cleared, and on this episode we explore how that is happening and what is coming in its place. New and innovative models of care delivery and payment models are being incorporated into health plans. More importantly, many employers and employees are beginning to realize that they are the ones who are really in charge.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2lQP214 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS222.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Relatively new to the benefits arena, Dawn McFarland, President of M&M Benefit Solutions began to look around and realized that there weren’t many OTHER new folks coming into the business. Worse, many older practitioners are aging out of the business with no succession plans. Coupled with her involvement with the California Association of Health Underwriters, she has started one of the few intern and mentorship programs in the business. Now, she wants to scale it.   

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2N28HHV

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS221.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

The current health care environment is complicated, convoluted and fraught with misaligned incentives, care decisions that focus on a single price point and doesn’t help consumers plan based on a desired final outcome. Scott Schoenvogel, CEO at Compass Professional Health Services, believes that healthcare navigation programs that account for benefits, consumer decision making and clinical decision points is the way through.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2HZb5LV 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS220.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

We have been talking about consumers in healthcare since the turn of the century, but real health care consumers – in the true sense of the word – are still apparently hanging out at the unicorn farm somewhere far away. Eric Haberichter, Co-founder at Access Healthnet knows why – and is working hard at creating a consumer environment in health care that approximates our consumer engagements in every other industry.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2JCLCcy 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS219.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Not too many years ago, the role of a TPA was fairly straightforward: Pay claims, handle eligibility and make a network connection. In today's fast-paced and rapidly growing self-funding world, a TPA has to be flexible, nimble and multi-faceted. Jeff Bernhard, President of Continental Benefits, represents a TPA built for today's commerce. We talk about what to look for in a TPA relationship and how your TPA is now an integral part of the client experience.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Jcv3bu 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS218.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Travel for treatment used to be an esoteric benefit reserved for only the largest of employers. Today, the benefits are as much quality as cost driven and most often involve fully-accredited facilities. Some even use U.S. physicians and are attached to teaching hospitals. Yet for many employers and employees it still remains mysterious.

Jim Polsfut, CEO and Chairman of North American Specialty Hospital, helps us to understand the changes and how to help clients embrace a benefit that is advantageous to both employer and employee.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2JgQCH5 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS217.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

According to our guest, Erica Kiefer, VP of Sales and Marketing for AgencyBloc and a tech veteran in a number of sectors, we often neglect to investigate some critical questions when choosing software. In addition to looking at the user interface or the sheer functionality of any tool, Erica cues us in on the questions behind the questions that will ensure we end up with the right tools.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2J4gO7O 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Musculoskeletal  claims  represent  16-22%  of  medical  spend  in  most  plans.  Yet  with  a  misdiagnosis  rate  of  nearly  40%  and  with  new  evaluative  and  treatment  regimens,  plans  can  save  as  much  as  25-35%  of  that  spend.  Chad  Gray,  CEO  at  Integrated  Musculoskeletal  Care)  has  been  tracking  this  trend  and  is  one  of  the  foremost  experts  on  how  plans  can  provide  better  quality  care  while  lowering  costs  in  this  space.   

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2IITzjr

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Jessica Waltman is principal at Forward Health Consulting and one of the most in-demand healthcare political and regulatory analysts in the country. She is also a ShiftShapers regular contributor. As we approach the mid-term elections, you may not be hearing much healthcare discussion on the legislative front, but the regulatory environment has been chock full of initiatives, advices and changes.

Jessica joins us to sort it all out and to let us know what we should expect in the coming months.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2rvbzmy 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS214.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

David Weingard is an entrepreneur who used his personal experience with diabetes to create Fit4D, a company that helps with both the personal and financial costs of this widespread and growing disease. David believes that even with all of the work that has been done, there is a huge opportunity for improvement.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Hi7lFK 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Gene Thompson is both a Project Director and Director of Health City Cayman Islands (HCCI), an amazing facility that is delivering higher quality, lower cost care with greater patient satisfaction scores. Pioneered by Dr. Devi Shetti, a physician and health care visionary based in India, HCCI has become a leading model for medical tourism.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Hg1x3A 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Data and reporting is playing an ever-more important role in helping advisors and employers manage their health care chain and spend. But our guest on this episode, Phil Litvin, Business Development Manager at First Capitol Consulting, warns that there are some red flags you may not even be aware of when evaluating the reporting you are getting.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2K0rIc5

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

David Snow is Chairman and CEO of Cedargate Technologies and a self-described “health care junkie” whose career has touched nearly all facets of the health care system. As such, David has a very unique view that informs how he works with and helps companies use data to drive better decision making.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2JybqHh 

 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Michael Walsh, founder and CEO of Cariloop, is an expert on a growing problem that most employers may not even realize they have – and that is taking its toll on their employees’ productivity. According to Michael, there may be more than 25 million workers caring for someone and that has an impact on financial wellness, as well as productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Eds5Mm

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Brian Klepper, Principal at HC Performance Inc. and Worksite Health Advisors believes that the value being delivered in today’s health care system is a “train wreck” and that many are complicit – and know that they are complicit. He explains why he believes that Fee For Service is the crack cocaine of healthcare. The good news is that Brian sees a new model emerging that focuses on delivering value across the entire health care delivery chain.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2pS0P0D

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Laura Carabello, Founder and Principal at CPR Strategic Marketing and Communication has spent the last 10 years focusing on domestic and international medical tourism. In this fast-paced episode, we discuss the inroads that both types of medical travel have made, beginning with jumbo employers and working their way to more recent acceptance and adoption by the mid-market.  

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://bit.ly/2G3EGUc

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS207.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Bret Brummitt, Managing Partner at AG Insurance Agencies and a thought leader in our business, believes that the two greatest things that have happened to our business are “Obamacare and Zenefits.” If that seems counterintuitive, listen in to hear Bret explain how those two things have shaped some of the transformative steps now taking place in the industry.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2pjHgPI

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS206.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Jack Hooper, Founder at Take Command Health, believes that data is the key to helping consumers connect with the plan that is right for them. Employees make plan decisions for a variety of reasons, but often do not find the plan that is right for them and do not understand the long-term impact of selecting the wrong plan.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2Fh2N4C 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS205.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In part 2 of our visit with, Eric Parmenter (National Leader of Value-based Care at Collective Health) we discuss a little-known metric that research proves correlates positively with growth. The Net Promoter Score has been used in other industries for more than 10 years, but despite its simplicity and effectiveness, it has not been widely applied in our industry.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2EYhZ7i

 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS204.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In the first of this 2-part episode, Eric Parmenter, National Leader of Value-based Care at Collective Health will explore why a market where buyers and sellers don’t know each other has led to misaligned market incentives. We also discuss a new variation of ACOs, the “E-ACO” that may answer some of the realignment that needs to occur to fix the broken triangle.

 You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ELjGoD

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS203.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Over the years, "case management and utilization management" has evolved and expanded to include a wide variety of disciplines that help members and plans alike. Sally-Ann sorts it all out and discusses her view of that the future looks like.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2o8hYCH

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS202.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

The good news is that there is a small wave of Generations X, Y and Z taking an interest in the insurance industry. Steven Griswold has first-hand knowledge as the head of a multi-generational firm dating back to 1948.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2nn37EW

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Ten years ago, a number of physician “academies” came together to pioneer the concept of Medical Home. Today, that concept is more widely known as Direct Primary Care (DPC). Today, interest in DPC and the practice model itself is rapidly evolving. Our guest, Jon Hernandez is the CEO at PeakMed Direct Primary Care in Colorado, and he is one of the drivers who are pushing DPC into its next evolution.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2E23RJU

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS200.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Mike Dendy is CEO and Founder at Advanced Medical Pricing Solutions (AMPS) and a student of the irrational pricing and misaligned incentives that drive today’s US healthcare system. We begin our conversation by discussing the widely-held myth of the PPO discount.

 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2rmxuQ5

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Our guest on this episode, Mark Seghers, Chief Sales Officer at Healthio, helps individuals, their families and their providers to fill in the blanks during the 5000 hours they spend away from their doctors.

For the last several years we have been talking about how The Internet of Things (IOT) will change medical care – and today that conversation is becoming real.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2DDog4w

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS198.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Dr. Marc Grossman, Founder and CEO at PriceMDs, has a unique 30-year perspective on the industry, having spent time as a surgeon, an administrator and a hospital owner. Over that time he has developed a keen sense of the chaotic and often adversarial pricing system that is prevalent in today’s medical and insurance industries.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2CMseXj

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Bob Gearhart Sr. and Bob Gearhart Jr. have taken another leap and put their fees at risk, which they feel puts them on the same side of the table as the client. Learn how they do it on this episode of ShiftShapers.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2A8cYSg

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS196.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Amy Evans, President of Colibri Insurance writes annual resolutions for her firm, but she goes a step further – she publishes them!

We caught up with Amy to discuss her feeling that this is a key part of her agency’s success.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2yMv0c3

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS195.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Mark Gaunya and Jennifer Borislow continue their discussion from last episode about why healthcare is so expensive and share their ideas to slow rising prices.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2BYY5qs

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS194.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Mark Gaunya and Jennifer Borislow lay out how the government, Big Pharma, hospital systems, and health insurance companies are incentivized to stop price deflation and maintain complexity.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2BaYA09

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS193.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Josh Hilgers, Director of Enterprise Sales at Quotit says that despite all the usual excuses, the "21st Century Cures" Act signed two years ago is offering those employees and employees options while creating a huge opportunity for benefit advisors.

 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2BKsq8x

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS192.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In Part 2 of this 2-part episode we will ask David Contorno, President of Lake Norman Benefits and Benefit Selling’s 2015 Broker of the Year about Performance-based Compensation and his belief that it puts advisors in a much better long-term position.

 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2j7ujVK

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

David explains why talking to the C-Suite is the way to provide 21st-century advice to clients. We chat about how rationing of care has changed and how it has moved the industry and what questions advisors need to ask their clients.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2jbDSlP

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS190.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

On this episode of ShiftShapers, we are stepping out of the realm of employee benefits, insurance and financial planning to discuss the ultimate differentiator for all businesses – customer service.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2AJuUDI

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Dr. Jeffrey Gold explains the attraction from the physician side of the equation when it comes to Direct Primary Care.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2iyKn23

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS188.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

A shift in communication and interaction with prospects and clients is the subject of Jeremiah Desmarais’ new book ….SHIFT. If you want to compete in today’s market, it is a must read.

 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2hzgQW0

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm EDT

Jesse Slome is Executive Director at the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. We asked him whether LTC was dead or alive and his answer may surprise listeners. We explore what happened to the first wave of LTC carriers and talk a bit about the recent divestiture and acquisition some major carriers have made. 

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2yRW6Aw

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS186.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Is a PBM a gatekeeper and whose interests are they serving?

Renzo Luzzatti is an expert on how and why pharmacy costs are growing at an exponential rate and driving an ever-more significant portion of claims spend. He explains that there are multiple vantage points to consider if benefit advisors and fiduciaries are to gain a good overall understanding of the problem and its possible solutions.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2yTXENe  

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Will higher personal responsibility costs, more technical plan designs, and just the challenges of being a patient be the springboard for patient advocacy? We’ll find out on this episode of Shiftshapers.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2g5QPQN 

 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Talking politics and benefits is like walking a tightrope in heavy winds, but our guests say it can be done without falling off. Hear more of their advice in the second part of this two-part interview.

With healthcare so tied to politics these days, many advisors feel they have no way to avoid the subject when speaking with prospects and clients. Can you maximize your impact as an advisor and remain politically neutral? Jess Waltman and Dave Mordo say, "yes".

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2xXkK1W 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Should you talk politics and policy with your clients? Our guests – one from the left and one from the right, will answer that question on part 1 (and 2) of this 2-part episode of ShiftShapers.

With healthcare so tied to politics these days, many advisors feel they have no way to avoid the subject when speaking with prospects and clients. Can you maximize your impact as an advisor and remain politically neutral? Jess Waltman and Dave Mordo say, yes.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2ft1uB1

 

 

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In this fast-paced interview, Eric explains how advisors interested in enhanced benefits fall into four distinct classes and delves into which group you want to be in for maximum productivity and client satisfaction.

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2jNgfDR

Direct download: SHIFTSHAPERS181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT