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Consociate Health names Mike Castleberry as Chief Growth Officer

Castleberry has proven track record of building strategic partnerships to drive results for clients.

Decatur, IL., – Consociate Health, a national Third-Party Administrator of employee benefit plans, announced today that Mike Castleberry has been named Chief Growth Officer (CGO). Castleberry will be responsible for leading the company’s corporate development efforts to grow revenue and expand market channels and market share.

Castleberry brings 30 years of industry experience in leadership, growth, strategy, and product development. His diverse corporate exposure at Prudential, Aetna, WellPoint Anthem, HealthSCOPE Benefits and most recently at Pareto Captive Services, will strengthen Consociate Health’s leadership team and its strategic partnerships with consultants across the nation.

“Over the last several years, Consociate has achieved pivotal growth and success, and the company enjoys excellent relationships with its clients, consultant partners and its employees,” says Castleberry. “I look forward to building on this success and working with the team as we execute new growth initiatives and corporate strategy.”

“Consociate has been fortunate to experience significant growth because of our focus on results for our clients and our culture that supports that mantra. They are an outstanding group of individuals, dedicated to our mission of improving the lives of our customers and those in the communities we serve. We are excited to welcome Mike to our team. He is highly respected across the industry and brings incredible expertise in growth strategy and best-in-class processes to manage this planned growth,” said Consociate Health President Darren Reynolds.

About Consociate Health

For more than 40 years, Consociate Health has partnered with consultants and employers of all sizes to deliver employee benefit program administrative services. As a Third-Party Administrator (TPA), Consociate has built a reputation for delivering results to its clients, leveraging innovation through cost containment, technology and direct-to-employer network development while providing empathic customer service with a focus on helping those we serve.

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Workplace Wellness

Creating an Incentive Program

A well-crafted incentive program motivates your employees to take steps toward improving their health—resulting in a positive return on investment (ROI) for you. To design an effective wellness incentive, consider the following steps.

  1. Determine what employee actions you want to increase or decrease with the use of an incentive. To determine which incentives to use, consider the behaviors that you want to encourage and the incentive values that have the greatest potential for driving those behaviors.
  2. Determine what may be preventing the adoption of the desired actions, behaviors or modifications.
  3. Select the rewards that you want to offer. They should be feasible based on your existing wellness program, while also producing the greatest behavioral change among your employees.
    • Incentives should be consistent with your work culture and appeal to a
      wide audience.
    • Employees should value your incentives.
    • Awards must be large enough to motivate employees to act.
  4. Develop guidelines for achieving incentives—exactly what must an employee do to earn a particular award?
  5. Create a communication plan to introduce and promote your incentive program.
    • The rules of the incentives must be clear and easy to understand.
    • Senior management should strongly endorse the program by participating themselves and encouraging others to do the same.
    • Remind employees of the incentives through frequent, ongoing communication.
  6. Put your incentive program into action and evaluate its effectiveness at least annually. Based on the results, revise your program as necessary.

*Keep in mind there are a number of legal compliance issues involved in designing a wellness program, including the type of incentives that can be offered under a wellness program. To avoid noncompliance, employers should have legal counsel review their wellness programs before they are rolled out to employees.

Possible Wellness Program Components

Stress Management

The following incentives can increase the number of employees completing stress management training:

  • Hold training sessions on company time.
  • Offer a “door prize” for session attendees with a drawing held at the end of the session.
  • Provide an additional 20 minutes of lunchtime for attendees.

Tobacco Cessation

The incentives below can promote smoking cessation:

  • Restrict smoking and tobacco usage at your worksite.
  • Offer a “performance-based” bonus for quitting smoking.
  • Offer a seminar on the health effects of smoking and using tobacco products.
  • Provide a prize for employees who abstain from smoking for a year after joining the program (extra day of vacation, discount on health premiums, etc.).

Healthy Weight Management

The following incentives can encourage participation in weight management programs:

  • Provide a food diary to employees where they can keep track of cravings, triggers and daily caloric intake.
  • Offer a seminar on the health advantages of a well-balanced diet.
  • Keep track of the small victories, such as exercising five days per week or eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Provide small weekly rewards or accumulate “points” toward a larger reward.

Hypertension Screenings

Use the incentives below to encourage employees to participate in blood pressure screenings:

  • Provide on-site screenings on company time.
  • Invite employees’ spouses to get screenings at no cost.
  • Provide gift certificates to employees who participate in the screenings.
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Mental Health Matters

Your mental health plays a large role in your overall well-being. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have reported a decline in their mental health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 45% of U.S. adults have reported distress during these times.

Mental well-being includes mental health, but goes far beyond treating mental illness. For example, you could go through a period of poor mental health but not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness. And your mental health can change over time, depending on factors such as your workload, stress and work-life balance.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness refers to a variety of conditions that affect your mood or behavior, feelings or thinking. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic and long-lasting. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mental illness is more prevalent than you might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental illness in any given year, and more than 50% will experience mental illness at some point in their life.

Why is mental well-being important?

Your mental well-being is tied directly to your physical health. Individuals with mental health issues or untreated mental illness are at risk of developing many chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and obesity. Poor mental health can also cause negative effects in your work life as well as in your social life. If you have poor mental health, you may experience productivity issues at work and may experience withdrawal or feelings of loneliness.

How can you improve your mental well-being?

Because it’s such a crucial component of your health, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. Here are three simple ways to do so every day:

  1. Express gratitude. Taking five minutes a day to write down the things that you are grateful for has been proven to lower stress levels and can help you change your mindset from negative to positive.
  2. Get exercise. You probably hear all the time how beneficial exercise is to your overall health, but it’s true. Exercising can improve brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. Strive for seven to eight hours of sleep a night to improve your mental health.
  4. Find out if your company offers an Employee Assistance Program. You can receive assistance ranging from urgent responses for onsite traumatic incidents to helpful well-being content, such as videos, podcasts and interactive programs, to consume at your own preferred pace. EAP’s can make it possible for you to receive the guidance you need in a confidential setting.
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What Is D2E?

Direct-to-employer arrangements, High Performance Networks, High Performance Health Plans – what does it mean?

There is a lot of discussion and interest in health network development lately, as employers try to find solutions to rising health plan costs and providers seek to diversify and stabilize income.

Employers have experienced unrelenting medical plan cost increases of 6% to 14% increases per year for the last 16 years. In addition, the Affordable Care Acts Medical Loss Ratio requirement created an incentive for carriers to not manage cost trends. From 2008 to 2018, employee deductibles have gone up 212%, while wages have only gone up 26%. The outcome of these high deductible plans is that employees are functionally uninsured because they cannot afford, and consequentially delay, care.

The good news is that a 2019 Rand Study showed that 40% of low-cost hospitals also have high quality. This allows employers an opportunity to contract directly with these high quality/low-cost hospitals and conversely it allows these high quality/low-cost hospitals to market themselves to employers directly. The Rand Study further showed employers can see a 40% drop in facility costs when they transfer care from a higher cost/high quality facility to a lower cost/high quality facility. These observations and observations like this have opened the doors for employers to establish direct partnerships with local providers. The birth of the D2E.

What is D2E? Whether you refer to the arrangement as Direct to Employer Network, Direct to Employer Contracting, High Performance Network, or use other terminology – these strategic partnerships help cut health care costs significantly for employers and members.

D2E or high performance networks are arrangements in which specific health systems become the contracted provider of healthcare services for an employer group. Employers accept a reduced number of providers in exchange for high quality/low cost health care results for their employees.

High performance networks are designed to include providers who deliver higher quality care and lower costs in comparison to others. These networks also use claims and utilization data to transparently analyze and improve outcomes.

Direct to employer arrangements can have different components based on the needs of the employer. On-site clinical services for staff, center of excellence models and high-performance networks are some examples – but they all essentially mean an agreement between employers and health systems to partner and bring high quality care to employees while lowering costs.

The outcome of these arrangements?

  • Reduced costs for employers to provide a health plan – up to a 20%-40% reduction in facility costs.
  • Dramatically lower out of pocket costs for members when they access the network – up to a 50% reduction in out of pocket costs or no out of pocket costs with the preferred providers.
  • Improved benefits for employees as a competitive recruitment advantage.
  • Health systems also win with a diversified and stable revenue stream and increased market share.

At Consociate Health, we have been building and successfully managing D2E networks since 1995. We can assist you in developing a D2E Network in your local community.

To find out more, contact Scott Barnes, Consociate Health Senior Vice President of Network and Business Development at scottb@consociate.comcreate new email.

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