John Soules Food

Industry: Produces Ready-to-eat Delicious Meals for Individuals and Families 
Number of Employees: 2000
Headquarters: Texas

John Soules Foods is a family owned company that provides great tasting beef and chicken through retail sales, food service distributors, restaurants, and school nutrition programs. Their customers love them for their simple-to-make, mouth-watering fajita products.  John Soules Foods is the #1 producer of beef and chicken fajitas in the U.S. with more than 2,000 employees in 3 locations – Texas, Georgia, and Alabama.

John Soules Foods was facing increasing specialty drug costs and increasing claims cost year over year as well as thousands of dollars in cost-sharing on patients before the plan coverage kicked in.

Starting in January 2019, the company switched to an innovative benefit design that rewards patients who use a relationship-based direct primary care program to help with provider selection, second opinions, scheduling, care management, specialty medications, and clinical support. Patients who access care by partnering with the DPC program have their cost-sharing reduced to zero in most cases. This process is managed by a transparent, unconflicted benefits advisor & her team, who designed the plan around employer/employee goals and no other interests.

The plan uses independent, unconflicted, transparent and high-quality vendors for third-party administration, pharmaceutical benefit management, specialty drug sourcing, and local, custom built network of high quality providers. 

Plan Highlight

In the first two years of the plan, John Soules Foods saved 35% on their claims cost and 20% on their fixed costs – while simultaneously offering patients a re-humanized health plan that leapfrogs access barriers, handholds patients through complex care needs and high-cost drug sourcing – all while eliminating or dramatically reducing patient cost-sharing.  

Photos

Woodard Cleaning and Restoration

Industry: Cleaning & Restoration
Number of Employees: 238
Headquarters: St. Louis, MO

Woodard Cleaning and Restoration is a family-owned business in St. Louis, Missouri that began in 1946 when Earl and Nancy Woodard began to offer their customers in-home rug cleaning door-to-door, an innovation at the time. Today the Woodard family adheres to that same devotion to quality, customer service and innovation, not only with their core mission, but also their employee health plan. 

In 2020, Woodard was suffering through a 20% rate hike on its conventional carrier health plan and was now facing another increase of 37%. The company couldn’t bear to shift more costs to its employees, having previously already raised the plan’s deductible to a whopping $5,000, using a narrow network Instead, they engaged a transparent, unconflicted benefits advisory firm, Simpara, and set out to achieve three key goals: 1) reduce overall spending, 2) reduce employee spending, and 3) improve member benefits experience.

Starting in April, 2020, the company switched to an innovative benefit design that rewards patients who use a custom-built network of direct contracts with the local hospital systems. The plan uses independent, unconflicted, transparent and high-quality vendors for third-party administration, stoploss coverage, pharmaceutical benefit management, brand and specialty drug sourcing, surgery bundled contracts, and imaging procedures. Patients who access care, including more than 500 brand drugs, through these contracts pay zero in most cases. 

Woodard  has 238 employees, and prior to transforming their health plan, the company was projected to pay just over a million dollars. Instead, they ended up paying $761,000, saving almost a quarter million dollars. In the second year of the plan, Woodard was able to reduce their costs even more through a discounted stoploss premium due to the quality management of the plan. These savings did not originate from cost-shifting to employees. The plan’s savings would have been even more dramatic, but for Woodard’s commitment to reduce employee costs as well as the company’s. Employees now have zero deductible for most services and high-touch concierge care navigation, and lower monthly premiums.

Patients who seek care using the direct contracts have no cost-sharing, but even those who choose to go elsewhere have out-of-network can enjoy zero cost-sharing when they work with the plan to negotiate special contracts with their out-of-network doctors. For example, Woodard had an expectant mother who was going to an out-of-network facility and the plan was able to negotiate a maternity package that was the price of well-below-market-rates (100% of Medicare), and $0 to the mom-to-be. Woodard employees have also been able to obtain their medications at significantly reduced rates. One parent was taking a full day off work each month to handle medical bills and logistics for their special needs child. Through smart sourcing and streamlining the supply chain, the plan has reduced drug costs for this member’s child by 80%, and she no longer has to take a personal day every month.

Shine Solar

Industry: Solar Power
Number of Employees: 85
Headquarters: Arkansas

Shine Solar is a solar panel home solution company headquartered in Arkansas and operating in three other neighboring states and Utah. The company has 152 employees using the health plan, and prior to transforming their health plan, the company was paying over $600,000 per year to United Healthcare, including almost $7,000 per employee. Today they’ve reduced their annual spend to $455,000, and a per-employee annual spend of $5,000, savings of 26 percent. These savings did not originate from cost-shifting to employees. Employees now have zero deductible for most services and high-touch concierge care navigation.

Starting in January 2021, the company switched to an innovative benefit design that rewards patients who use a custom-built network of direct contracts with the local hospital systems. The plan uses independent, unconflicted, transparent and high-quality vendors for third-party administration, stoploss coverage, pharmaceutical benefit management, brand and specialty drug sourcing, surgery bundled contracts, and imaging procedures. Patients who access care, including more than 500 brand drugs, through these contracts pay zero in most cases. 

These vendors are managed by a transparent, unconflicted benefits advisory firm, who designed the plan around employer/employee goals and no other interests.

When it comes to patient cost-sharing for premiums and out-of-network benefits, the plan is a dramatic improvement over the company’s previous offerings from United. Patients who seek care using the direct contracts have no cost-sharing, but even those who choose to go elsewhere have out-of-network cost-sharing that is lower than the best of the UHC plans from the year prior. The concierge customer service approach is to personalize problem-solving so that the plan always does right by the patient. For example, a member needed a specialized eye surgery with an out-of-network surgeon. The plan negotiated a special contract with the surgery center that saved the patient $1500 on their out-of-network deductible and saved the plan $1000 on the cost of the surgery.