Ep #102: Are Consumers Ready for Telemedicine? – With Jim Prendergast

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Today on The ShiftShapers Podcast, the CEO of Healthiest You, and a serial entrepreneur with a rich background in our industry, Jim Prendergast, joins us to talk about the challenges of putting consumers in the center of their own health care. In this episode, Jim focuses on the current state of the telemedicine market segment and its promise for lowering costs and increasing patient satisfaction.

Jim shares his thoughts on how long it will take for telemedicine to become widely accepted by patients. We also explore how telemedicine and some of its components have begun making it easier for those users to become true consumers. We also discuss what needs to happen in order to drive customer engagement and what advisors can do to increase the uptake of Telemedicine.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What Jim learned in his early efforts to make Telemedicine mainstream.
  • Whether telemedicine already has “consumers.”
  • How to drive consumer engagement.
  • The tools that consumers need.
  • The importance of mobile technology.
  • The kind of ROI you can expect from Telemedicine.

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Ep #101: MDRT President Discusses Life Insurance in a Benefits Practice – With Brian Heckert

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In an environment where benefit advisors are dealing with commission compression, many are considering adding life insurance revenue streams to their practices – or finding ways to increase the volume of their existing life practice. Brian Heckert, founder and managing member of Financial Solutions Midwest, LLC. and President of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), joins us to share his thoughts on how advisors can expand their practices and deliver additional value to their clients.

In this engaging conversation, we discuss how brokers can get started with life and the pros and cons of going it alone versus creating strategic partnerships. We also explore techniques advisors can use to approach prospects and clients, such as policy review and others. To gain more knowledge, Brian suggests leveraging wholesalers to gain both product and conceptual depth.

We wrap up our conversation by talking about different life insurance policies and today’s popular combination products that create a nice fit with work many advisors are already doing with their clients.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How advisors can add life insurance to their practices.
  • Whether advisors should look at this as just one more product in their portfolio.
  • The value of strategic partnerships.
  • How to leverage carrier marketing teams and wholesalers.
  • What that process looks like.
  • Whether policy review is a good way to get started.

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Ep #100: How to Reduce Health Care Costs through Accurate Diagnosis – With Dr. Lewis Levy

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According to a recent American Journal of Medicine study, 40% of the patients who requested second opinions on the initial diagnosis have received changes in their diagnosis and treatment. On this episode of ShiftShapers, we’re talking to Dr. Lewis Levy about a serious problem in today’s health care – inaccurate diagnosis.

Dr. Levy is Senior Vice-President for Medical Affairs and Chief Quality Officer at Best Doctors, a service that brings together the best physicians in the world to help people get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Levi joins us today to talk about how Best Doctors came about and shares some shocking findings that they have recently reported. We talk about the importance of technology and data analytics in being able to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately. We also discuss how they engage employee populations and how their comprehensive reviews of medical cases can help reduce health care costs in the long run.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How Best Doctors was founded.
  • The conditions/diseases they see most often.
  • How they engage employee populations.
  • Whether that reduces cost in the long run.
  • The role of technology and data analytics.

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Ep #99: Advocacy Helps Members Raise Their “Healthcare IQ” – With Julian Lago

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This week, we talk to the matter expert Julian Lago, co-founder and President of Benezon about how benefits advisors can help employees raise their “Healthcare IQ”. In light of recent reports that as many as three-fourths of employees don’t understand even basic benefits terminology, this offers yet another post-reform opportunity for adding value.

Julian has spent the last five years working to understand how advisors can create a concierge service for employees to help them begin to understand the complexities of their plans and their claims. We also explore how having an advocate can help employees become better consumers. He believes it boils down to three key focus areas: awareness, engagement, and improvement.

In this conversation, we talk about what you need to look for in your practice and how to keep a high touch environment while using technology to take the burden of ever-increasing client demands for higher levels of customer services off your support staff. Julian is a Regional Vice President of the National Association of Health Underwriters and spends a great deal of time talking with benefit advisors who share the same common needs: being able to find time to build their practices while delivering world-class customer service without breaking the bank.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How you can account for the continuing high level of health care illiteracy.
  • What “Healthcare IQ” means.
  • Whether more transparency will drive greater engagement.
  • Whether “high touch” still matters.
  • Julian’s 3 three key focus areas of advocacy for plan members.
  • What’s the sword and what’s the shield?

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Ep #98: Best Employee Benefits Practices – With Russ Blakely

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At the recent Ascend! conference in Nashville, we caught up with Russ Blakely, President of Russ Blakely & Associates. In the course of our conversation, it became apparent that Russ is doing a lot of the things “the right way,” and we decided to invite him to the program to talk about best practices. Russ is a great example of the things he’s doing in the benefits arena that you can likely learn from and implement in your own practice.

In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover how taking ownership of client problems may lead you to saving money, and when it makes sense to implement onsite clinics and pharmacies and how that may impact the pharma and medical spend. We also talk about how Russ has created a proprietary physician network and what it did for their firm, as well as how they discover “at-risk” employees and what conditions they find most prevalent within a given population.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What to do when expensive care happens outside a clinic.
  • Why it is important to leverage data and do directed mining.
  • Whether the onsite clinics in the public sector are unusual.
  • What prompted the initial physician recruitment and how that grew into a network.
  • What a “network within a network” is and why it is important.

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Ep #97: A Fun and Informative Approach to Health Care Education – With Al Lewis

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Our special guest on today’s episode of the ShiftShapers podcast is Al Lewis. Al is a serial entrepreneur, author, renaissance man, and the CEO of Quizzify. Quizzify is a health care education app that teaches employees how to buy and use healthcare (literally through fun and games), making them smarter consumers and, over time, spend less money on things that will not benefit them… or may even harm them.

Al joins us to share his interesting journey, which began at Harvard Law School, that led to the creation of Quizzify. In this interesting and engaging conversation, we discuss current health care literacy issues and Al’s unique approach to solving those problems. We cover how Quizzify integrates with companies’ wellness programs and what those employer conversations look like.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Why Google thinks Al invented Disease Management.
  • How we can increase health care literacy.
  • How to engage employees in learning more.
  • The difference between wellness and wellbeing.
  • Why some CAT scan patients may glow in the dark.

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Ep #96: Is “Transparency” the New “Throw Away” Word? – With Rick Perryman

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At the recent Ascend! conference in Nashville, we caught up with Rick Perryman, National Practice Leader for Trendshift. We discuss a wide range of subjects and spotlight the key data elements and themes that advisors need to be aware of to help clients manage their plans.

Join us to discover why Rick believes that “transparency” is the new “throw away word” in the benefits arena and what “fiduciary level transparency” is.  We also discuss the distinction between data warehousing and “real-time data”. Rick also helps us to understand how some vendors game plans and what plans and plan sponsors can stop those practices that add unnecessary cost and complexity – all in an effort to drive down costs.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Whether transparency is the new “throw-away word.”
  • What “fiduciary level transparency” is.
  • How to eliminate vendor gamesmanship.
  • What the client conversations look like once savings opportunities are realized.
  • What real time data is and how it differs from data warehousing.
  • Where population health plays into better fiduciary decision making.

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Ep #95: What Benefits Advisors Need to Know about the Presidential Candidates’ Positions on Health Care – With Jessica Waltman

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On this episode of ShiftShapers, we’re pleased to welcome  Jessica Waltman, Principal at Forward Health Consulting, back to the program. At the present time, Jessica is the only guest that comes on quarterly because the regulatory, legislative, and political world of Washington D.C. that she works in changes quite often.

Jessica joins us to share her insights and unparalleled knowledge of what’s going on in Washington this election season. In this engaging conversation, we talk about what Jessica sees in the political future, where the presidential candidates stand on health care, and discuss the best and worst scenarios that benefit advisors might expect. Don’t miss this insightful episode!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The Democratic candidates’ positions on health care.
  • Whether the candidates who are Governors more focused on entitlement reform.
  • Where they stand on transparency.
  • Where the Republican candidates stand.
  • Whether the Democrats are actually a better long-term play with respect to employer-based insurance.

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Ep #94: How Extraordinary Communication Leads to Extraordinary Success – With Tom Harte

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On this episode of Shiftshapers, we’re talking to Tom Harte, President of Landmark Benefits who shares some of the tools and techniques his agency uses to drive success with exceptional communication.

As all agencies work to deliver value added services, Tom’s believes that being able to deliver real-time information across a wide range of topics helps to create and deepen client relationships.

Communication leads to extraordinary success in any agency. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the success strategies of one of the most forward-looking agencies in the country.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The general challenges that are facing today’s advisors.
  • What Tom has done to create his successful agency.
  • Why communication is the key to success.
  • The role of social media.
  • How to have the content you need to keep clients updated.

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Ep #93: The Future of Telemedicine – With Samir Qamar – Part 2

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Last week we talked to Samir Qamar, M.D., founder and CEO of MedLion and MedWand, about direct pay primary care and how it can be integrated into the solutions advisors offer to clients. On this episode of Shiftshapers Podcast, we continue our conversation with Dr. Qamar as he shares his latest offering that aims to take telemedicine to another level.

We talk about a brand new device that Dr. Qamar is bringing to market – a mouse-sized piece of technology that has the potential to revolutionize patient’s interactions with their physicians. This new technology will not only allow physicians to spend more time but appropriate time with clients. Tune into this insightful exploration of the new technologies that are coming to the market that can help extend our virtual interaction with primary care providers.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Whether we are going backward to the era of the family doctor.
  • The evolution of today’s telemedicine.
  • What Qamar believes to be the true telemedicine.
  • How accessible the technology is for consumers.
  • Why frequent claims are an insurance killer.
  • The other technology that is coming to market to extend our electronic interaction with providers.

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