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Dec 13, 2017

Frank Thomas interviews Tom Kane, Executive Vice President and Director of Life & Health for Stephens Insurance, in this episode of Stephens Viewpoints. Frank and Tom discuss the importance of the practitioner model when advising clients on health insurance and benefits. With medical practitioners on staff, account executives can provide clients with transparency on healthcare and pharmacy costs. Tom discusses the benefits of data-driven analytics in understanding health risks within a client employee group, and the benefit of providing important steps employees can take to reduce their risks of future disease and to manage existing disease.


Key Takeaways:

[:48] Stephens Insurance has both a medical practitioner and a pharmacist on staff. Tom explains how Stephens has responded to changes in client expectations over the last 10 to 15 years by transforming to a risk management philosophy from the historical transactional role of most brokers.

[1:46] Looking at the risks in a health plan population requires the insight of clinical practitioners. In 2006, Stephens hired two registered pharmacists, who are still with Stephens today. A few years later, Stephens added a medical director.

[2:11] Sitting with a client, the Stephens broker can now have a different conversation focused on what is actually happening within the plan, what is driving the cost, rather than just a conversation around shifting costs.

[2:25] The Stephens medical director works with account executives to study client health data and advise on the trends occurring within their population. They can find gaps in care, such as patients not following the protocols for managing diseases, or if employees are not getting screenings. Stephens can help incentivize compliance.

[3:29] The role of the pharmacists is to help clients design the best pharmacy program for their health plan. They understand the pharmacy industry. They have a hands-on role with the clients and the account management team.

[4:06] Stephens believes in total transparency. Clients have a right to know the Pharmacy Benefit Manager pricing methodologies. People need to have access to transparent quality data, as well. Stephens advises clients to provide tools to employees that allow them to understand what the costs are.

[4:53] In Central Arkansas, Stephens has done research that shows the cost for an MRI to be very different from one provider to the next. Transparency is the future of healthcare and insurance. People should be able to go online and see what an MRI costs, and not only what it costs, but who has the highest quality outcomes.

[5:19] Tom says health insurance is bad for your health because it was offered as a remedy for being sick. The message needs to change to things you can do to prevent getting sick. Having a practitioner model where you can present the client with practitioner expertise is empowering and transformative for the client and employees.

[6:32] For the first time, companies are dealing with the wellness of employees that span three generations. That adds levels of complexity from messaging, to the disease states of the generations. Younger people need to stay healthy; mature people need to change behaviors to reverse early disease; the elderly need to manage their diseases.

[8:30] Everything Stephens does begins and ends with data. It has done an exhaustive process of vetting data analytic vendors. It has found a best-in-class provider for its clients. Through risk-scoring and predictive analytics, Stephens can tell a client, if nothing changes, this is what your health care costs will look like.

[9:11] Stephens is able to predict with a high degree of accuracy what’s going to happen to care costs and admissions if a client employee group does not make any changes. It’s very empowering to have access to that data, where we can pinpoint individuals who are at risk for a significant health event.

[9:37] To our listeners, please continue to tune in as we explore more topics with experts from Stephens Insurance. For more information on this topic, please contact Stephens Insurance at 1-800-643-9691. To listen to more Stephens Viewpoints, check out our website.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Stephens Insurance

Stephens Viewpoints Podcast

Tom Kane



Insurance products offered through Stephens Insurance, LLC., National Producer Number 8844362. Securities are offered through Stephens, Inc., Member NYSE, SIPC.

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