In this edition of CEO's Corner, I sit down with Dr. Josh Luke .
I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Luke at a recent benefits summit as he shared what it takes to break free from the entrapment of our current healthcare delivery model. His insight stems from many years of experience as a hospital CEO, an international keynote speaker, a Forbes Books featured author, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California.
In our conversation, Josh shares why he chose to forgo health insurance for his family for a time, outlines key resources to move the needle on healthcare costs and emphasizes the importance of teaching employees to become engaged healthcare consumers.
Kim Evans: As a former hospital CEO, what advice would you give to health care benefits leaders looking to break free from the status quo healthcare model? Please explain with examples from your own experience.
Josh Luke: Providing healthcare benefits is the second largest expense (behind salaries and wages for most American businesses).
I think the days of companies simply renewing their employee health insurance plan and paying the annual 4-8% hike are behind us. Whether it's direct contracting, offering enhanced personalized and preventative medicine benefits, or simply converting to a proven, more efficient model like Health Rosetta. Those organizations that are not engaging in the process should begin to hold their senior-level executives accountable for irresponsible management and leadership.
Companies should also only work with brokers, benefits advisors, TPA's and PBM's who have completed the Health-Wealth Certification as it is the industry seal of commitment to transparency and excellence.
Kim Evans: How do we move the needle on healthcare costs? Can you share some proven tactics employers are currently utilizing to reduce healthcare spending and improve their employees’ access to quality doctors or providers?
Josh Luke: Employees and individuals need to become EHC's - Engaged Healthcare Consumers. High deductible plans don't work unless consumers engage.
The best way to ensure employees engage is for the employer to prioritize engaging in the healthcare process and walking the walk. I think families are converting to cost-sharing plans like PureHealth by Sedera and FitHealth. I also love companies that provide complementary genome sequencing or DNA testing to employees as a retention benefit as a means to encourage them to start down the path of engaging in personalized medicine. We have information about each of these products on my Blogspot and Podcast site.
Kim Evans: You and your family made the difficult decision to forego healthcare benefits during a time of transition. What did you learn from that experience, and how has that shaped your current work?
Josh Luke: That was a tough one.
But in retrospect, to pay more than $1,400 a month for health insurance while I was unemployed would have been irresponsible. Luckily we landed on our feet, and I found a new job, so it was for less than a year, but with kids in middle school at the time was nerve-racking. The good news is it started the ball rolling of my family becoming EHC's - Engaged Healthcare Consumers as we began price shopping, comparing, asking for discounts, and we learned about healthcare's version of Go Fund Me, which is at HLTHE.com.
HLTHE.com is a great resource; if you need a little extra cash to cover healthcare costs, its basically a Go Fund Me specific to healthcare, but it partners with non-profits to donate, so unlike Go Fund Me, the donations are tax-deductible.
Kim Evans: Twenty years from now, when you look back on your time in the health benefits industry, what will you be most proud of?
Josh Luke: I think just playing a role in fixing the healthcare cost hyperinflation problem that went from a financial-thorn in the side of Baby Boomers, to a full-on financial crisis for Gen-Xers, to financial quandary so great for millennials and Gen-Z that they have already begun questioning the need for health insurance as a whole.
The younger generations are learning to live healthier, ask questions, and utilize technology and resources to live a healthier life. It's exciting to play a role in that. We offer a Personal Healthcare Spending Reduction Tool, which is something I am proud of as well, it essentially guarantees individuals and families tips, referrals and preferred discounts to save at least $5,000 annually on healthcare just by completing the questionnaire and implementing the recommendations.