Q & A with Jamie Hall
Chief Commercial Officer, Transcarent
General Manager, BridgeHealth
What is BridgeHealth?
BridgeHealth is the leading provider of Surgical Centers of Excellence and Appropriate Site of Care solutions for self-insured employers. We serve over 1 million Members through more than 160 hospital and ambulatory surgery centers that offer more than 300 pre-negotiated surgical bundles across eight surgical categories. Through our efforts, our Members experience improvements in quality of care, resulting in 80% lower complications and industry-leading net promoter scores that are on average 90 and above. We see this as proof positive that if you focus on improving the Member’s experience and on the quality of care, you can also drive lower costs for everyone, including whoever is paying for the surgery.
What does it mean that BridgeHealth is part of Transcarent?
We see the merger with Transcarent as the natural evolution of our mission to improve the health and care experiences of our Members. The Transcarent vision is to empower individuals to make better health and wellbeing decisions and enable them to share in the financial benefits of those decisions. Transcarent is a Silicon Valley-based consumer digital health company. As experts in consumer-directed virtual care, they have a unique understanding of how to navigate the complexities of the health care system. Together, our teams represent every aspect of the health care continuum with a proven track record.
As one company, we are transforming the health and care experience – improving outcomes and providing unbiased information, trusted guidance and easy access to high value care. As part of Transcarent, we are delivering exceptional experiences beyond the surgical episode and creating greater value for our self-insured clients and their Members across a broader set of health encounters.
What’s wrong with the traditional health care system?
Today, health care is more confusing, more complex and more costly than ever before for the consumer and the employer. Our country wastes more than any other nation on health care. Estimates range from 25% in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (Shrank, et al., 2019), to 30% in a report from the New England Healthcare Institute (Delaune & Everett, 2008), to a 43% median estimate in the American Journal of Public Health (Niederdeppe & Gollust, 2020). For employers and their employees, health care is one of the most expensive items in their budgets. For most people, it’s hard to discern where to get the best care at the most affordable price.
A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) showed that health care costs are at the top of the list of household worries. The study found that “one-third (34 percent) of insured adults say it is either “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” for them to afford to pay their deductible” and “about three in ten of all adults (29 percent) report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost” (Kirzinger et al. 2019).
BridgeHealth tackled that waste head-on to bring Members an 80 percent lower complication rate and employers a savings of 49.5% overall. Now, with Transcarent, we are improving the delivery of health and care even more.
How will your Members benefit?
Transcarent created a new consumer-directed health and care platform. Using a combination of software, technology, Health Guides and data science, Transcarent empowers consumers with the kind of unbiased information, trusted guidance and easy access to high value care that leads to better care, better outcomes, and more cost-effective decisions and allows Members to share in the benefits of their decisions. Transcarent believes that having the right information, tools and incentives in the decision-making process can positively transform the way we all experience our health and care.
Besides providing better care to Members, how do employers benefit?
Employers benefit through one easy-to-administer benefit that delivers measurably better results across all points of care. In general, U.S. employees spend approximately $21.57 billion a year in time dealing with health care administration burdens — more than 50 percent of that time while at work (Pfeffer, et al., 2020). That loss of productivity obviously has direct effects on the employer, but also affects employee morale.
As part of Transcarent, BridgeHealth continues to eliminate administrative waste and create a more equal, balanced and effective solution for employers, employee Members and health care providers. We leverage technology to improve the quality of care and the experience people have.
What does the health care provider get out of the relationship?
Physicians and health care facilities benefit from BridgeHealth’s ability to deliver surgical flow in their area of specialty, national brand recognition and bundled pre-payments that reduce administrative costs. Now, as a part of Transcarent, our new high-tech telehealth platform will allow us to meet patients earlier in their surgical journey. Patients will get quicker access to an array of services to improve their quality of care and providers will see an increase in utilization and volume as more Members access value-based care.
As a part of the Transcarent family, we are able to expand into new categories as well as partner more strategically with our surgeons and COEs through new reporting and analytical technology. Access to capital, also gives us the ability to build out our automation software for bundled rates, which enhances our provider partner capabilities.
What does the acquisition of BridgeHealth mean for you personally?
Throughout my career, I have worked with growing companies focused on creating better health care experiences for people. At BridgeHealth, we help people every day get the high-quality surgical care and care coordination support they need. Our team creates exceptional experiences for our Members and Transcarent allows us to provide that level of service and guidance across their entire health and care journey. So, on a personal level, the opportunity to help bring Transcarent to millions of Americans fulfills my desire to have a career of meaning. I look forward to taking the value of Transcarent into the market as Chief Commercial Officer and to continue leading BridgeHealth as General Manager.
I am fortunate to be part of a team of people whose true passion is to transform health care for the betterment of all. That’s a great place to be.
BridgeHealth delivers exceptional health care experiences through our national, bundled-payment surgical centers of excellence programs.
Delaune, J. & Everett, W. (February 2008). Waste and inefficiency in the U.S. health care system. Clinical care: A comprehensive analysis in support of system-wide improvements. New England Healthcare Institute. www.nehi.net
Hawks, L, Himmelstein, D.U., Woolhandler, S, Bor, D.H., Gaffney, A, & McCormick, D. (Jan. 27, 2020). Trends in Unmet Need for Physician and Preventive Services in the United States, 1998-2017. JAMA Intern Med. 180(3):439–448. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.6538
Kirzinger, A., Muñana, C., Wu, B. and Brodie, M. (June 11, 2019). Data note: Americans’ challenges with health care costs. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/data-note-americans-challenges-health-care-costs/
Niederdeppe, J. & Gollust, S. (December 2020). Excess medical care spending: An opportunity but a communication challenge. American Journal of Public Health. 110/12. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305970
Pfeffer, J., Witters, D., Agrawal, S., & Harter, J. K. (Oct. 29, 2020). Magnitude and effects of “sludge” in benefits administration: how health insurance hassles burden workers and cost employers. Academy of Management Discoveries 6(3). https://doi.org/10.5465/amd.2020.0063
Shrank W.H., Rogstad T.L., & Parekh N. (published online October 7, 2019). Waste in the US health care system: estimated costs and potential for savings JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13978