Ep #68: Defeat Freebies With Your Secret Weapon – With Lillian Shapiro

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At the recent NAHU Convention, we spoke with Lillian Shapiro, president of HR360, about some of the challenges that benefits advisors face from companies providing “free” stuff in exchange for Agent of Record Letters. She points out that this type of marketing is not a new hurdle, but one that has reappeared at a particularly interesting time in our business.

On this episode of ShiftShapers,Lillian shares a simple yet powerful technique brokers can employ to give them a competitive advantage over any technology platform. She offers advice and ideas to help advisors become more effective and efficient in closing new clients and retaining existing ones. Lillian believes that advisors today have a unique value proposition – they simply need to learn how to present it in a compelling and competitive manner.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The challenges advisors have faced in the past with freebies.
  • How to ensure your clients know the full scope of the services you provide.
  • How to use checklists and newsletters.
  • Why social proof matters.
  • The secret weapon in every client relationship.

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Ep #64: Lessons Learned From Retailers Deliver a Better Client Experience – With Kara Trott

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It often seems as though the world of employee benefits is exempt from many of the forces that impact other industries. Kara Trott, Founder & CEO of Quantum Health, knows that is not true, and that much of what happen in other industries – especially retail sales – can help us to improve our industry and the client experience we provide.

We invited Kara to share her experience with using strategies from retail store design and product intercept to help lower healthcare costs and improve experience. She also talks about how these strategies apply to managed care companies, insurance companies, and patients. Kara believes that today’s consumers often feel like Dorothy, dropped into the land of Oz: confused, disoriented by a consumer experience unlike any other and with a multitude of simultaneous decisions for which they are unprepared.

She shares the lessons she has learned and techniques you can master to make those clients feel like they are back in Kansas again.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Her journey from retail and commercial enterprise to the health industry.
  • Strategies and lessons learned from Citibank, Ford, Walmart and Kmart.
  • Where disconnects happen.
  • Why today’s consumers feel like Dorothy, dropped into Oz.
  • The widely-held theory that the physician is at the center of the trust relationship.

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Ep #58: Price and Quality Transparency In Action – With Dr. Keith Smith

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Dr. Keith Smith believes that health care pricing in the United States is “a scam” that he was determined to change. Continuing with our 2-part series on transparency, we thought it would be interesting to talk to someone who has a few years’ experience in taking transparency and is putting it into effect.  Keith is the medical director and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma.

While working in big hospitals for 7 years, Keith witnessed the quality of medical care sinking and the prices rising. This inspired Keith and his business partner to start a private practice with a difference: they would post their prices and outcomes for everyone to see. To remain true to their pricing, they decided they could not deal with government programs. They are firm in their belief that the only way to move to a real free market is to be completely transparent and provide better care and outcomes than big box hospitals, and to do it for a fraction of the price.

We asked Keith about his journey as well as the challenges he and his partner had to overcome along the way. We also explore the disruptive consequences that his transparency is having across the country, leading patients (who bid for their non-emergent surgical care) to Oklahoma.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Keith’s journey to starting his transparent pricing surgery center.
  • How Keith and his partner began pricing their medical services.
  • Why he believes current pricing is a scam.
  • The farce of hospital’s non-profit status
  • The disruptive effect of posting his prices.
  • What the Free Market Medical Association is.

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Ep #57: Can Transparency Change the U.S. Healthcare System? – With Ralph Weber

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Perhaps more than any other single topic, transparency has the potential to be transformational to every aspect of health and health insurance. With that in mind, we are doing our first ever 2-part episode.

This week, on part one, we’re excited to welcome Ralph Weber, President and CEO of MediBid. Ralph is a passionate subject matter expert and serves as a member of NAHU’s Healthcare Cost and Quality Transparency Workgroup. We explore his belief that the current pricing schemes withhold information by design and why Millennials (in particular) will not accept the status quo on transparency.

Ralph shares his perspective about the effects transparency has on the U.S. healthcare system, the marketplace, and the competitive environment, and why transparency alone is not enough to effect the needed changes. We also learn why some hospitals charge more for the same type of treatment than others as we discuss the differences between static and dynamic pricing.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Ralph’s journey.
  • The difference between “dynamic” and “static” pricing.
  • How Ralph defines transparency.
  • Whether the most expensive care is the best care.
  • What Ralph sees happening in the future around the issue of transparency.

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Ep #56: How to Mitigate Your Clients’ Pharmacy Costs – With Tery Baskin

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We’ve waited a long time to find exactly the right person to talk to about the ever-increasing portion of our overall spend – pharmacy. Our today’s guest, Tery Baskin, founder, president and CEO of RxResults has been in the pharmacy field for over 30 years.  He’s owned 3 community pharmacies, worked in a tertiary care hospital before he got involved in the managed care side of things.

Today, Tery joins us to talk about the driving factors behind pharmacy costs and what we can do to help bring those costs down. We discuss how reference pricing can help guide employees toward optimal choices of medicine that cost less, but essentially do the same thing. Terry also shares how benefits advisors can design better plans and advise their clients, as well as how specialty pharmacies and genetically-engineered drugs are affecting the current market. Don’t miss this value-packed episode!

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • Tery’s journey.
  • How “Evidence Based Pharmacy Benefits Risk Management” can help keep your costs down.
  • Whether that affects payers, members or both.
  • What  “Medication Therapy Management” (MTM) is.
  • How specialty meds are affecting the market
  • The intricacies of Genetically-engineered drugs.

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