Allegheny Wood Products (AWP) is a privately held hardwood lumber company based in Petersburg, WV but located throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The company has over 700 employees working in 12 locations and employs an additional 500 people through logging and trucking contractors working exclusively for AWP. AWP is a primary manufacturer and drier of hardwood lumber that markets its products to over 30 countries around the world.
AWP went from a “traditional” self-insured health plan utilizing one vendor for third party administration and medical network/processing and prescription benefits. In January 2020, they determined that a change in direction towards healthcare was needed to help AWP’s employees and their families to obtain better health outcomes. At this point, AWP began utilizing an independent third-party administrator, separate medical network, and a pharmacy benefit management service for utilizing and managing a pharmacy benefits vendor. This change alone saw a significant increase in employees utilizing their healthcare. AWP then began to look at innovative solutions to lower deductible and out-of-pocket costs to the employees while hoping to promote effective use of benefits to meet the employees and their family’s needs for a healthier life.
Some of these changes utilize a concierge approach to help employees find the most effective and high-quality providers and outcomes to better meet the employee’s healthcare needs. When utilizing this service, the employees experience no or limited deductible and/or out of pocket costs. These services can range from imaging to second opinions to surgeries. Before these programs were introduced, many employees would delay procedures or medical care due to the out-of-pocket costs being unaffordable. Since adding this option, employees are working closely with our concierge system to be able to obtain these necessary procedures that are needed for a healthier and improved quality of life. Not being able to afford medical treatment is not a barrier for employees any longer on AWP’s health plan.
Another program that AWP has instituted is having an independent physician on-site at the workplace. This has provided an opportunity for employees who do not have a regular physician to be able to utilize one without the burden of having to take leave from work to have their healthcare needs met. The feedback from this program has been very positive as some of the employees are now receiving treatment for chronic disease states that before were left untreated. Before this program, employees were receiving their care from an urgent care facility or the emergency room. This program alone has improved healthcare outcomes and costs for the employee.
The company has over 475 employees utilizing the health care plan. After making some innovative changes, they experienced a reduction in spend of approximately $1M in savings (15.5%) for the 2022 plan year, compared to the prior year. These savings were a result of an innovative approach to health care utilization.