The Hardest Part Is To Admit You Have A Problem

Denial is easy when you’re on the inside looking out – the proverbial “no I don’t.” Finally admitting and acknowledging a problem means something needs to change if you want to improve upon it. The status quo doesn’t work if you have a problem.

When others seem to think or know you have a problem, how defensive one gets tends to their view, creates denial. It doesn’t really matter whether the problem is personal or business, but the right response is to listen, make changes, and move on. But when we’ve been doing something for so long we with or without major repercussions, we tend to think that there isn’t a problem.

The same holds true with health care and health plans. Most employers I talk to have been buying health insurance the same way they did 30 years ago, and still don’t realize that they have a problem. Everything else in this world has changed – largely through technology – but not the way we buy health care and health insurance. The reality is that its broken and has been broken for decades.

So how do you get an employer to admit they have a problem? It’s not easy. It’s like trying to have an intervention with someone who’s chemical dependent. Denial – “we like how much we pay for insurance,” or “we’re happy with our health plan.” Once again, the reality no one is happy with the cost of insurance, and employee satisfaction is quite low.

I’ve found the best way to show someone that they have a problem is to essentially conduct an audit of their current plan. This would entail a review of their Plan Documents, Contracts, and Re-pricing of their medical and pharmacy claims. Now that hospitals must disclose their pricing with various insurance carriers, it make its very easy to compare actual network value, rather than simply hearing that one network has better pricing than another.

The great thing about the analysis/audit process is that it’s not a subjective observation, like dealing with some behaviors. It’s simple, easy to understand, and points out the problems within a Plan. Nothing is made up, it’s specific to that employer’s data. There are so many proven and effective programs that can help employers with their Plan – it’s just that they don’t think they have a problem. Whoa.

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Frank Stichter