Ryan Murry, director of benefits for Essilor of America, was the guest speaker during the July 2017 Compass Health Activation Webinar, where he discussed how Essilor worked with Compass to relaunch its healthcare navigation services, ultimately doubling the employees’ utilization of Compass services over a 12-month period.
Overview – Learn More About the Existing Health Plan Landscape
Essilor is a French-based company and the world’s leading provider of eyeglass lenses. Its American affiliate is located in Dallas, Texas and employs 8,500 workers in 120 locations throughout the country. The average Essilor employee is 50 years old, so health and wellness are a major focus. Two-thirds of employees work in production labs and one-third have administrative jobs.
The company offers three different medical plans, a high-deductible plan and two PPO plans that have the typical patient co-pay. To date, 30 percent of employees have chosen the high-deductible plan.
Five years ago, the company partnered with Compass to launch a pilot program, rolling out Compass’ health navigation platform to a subset of its U.S. employee population and their families. The goal: Help Essilor employees become better healthcare consumers.
Healthcare Navigation Utilization Plateaued
Essilor of America saw employee utilization of Compass services plateau after a couple of years, hovering between 9 percent and 11 percent. And while the program was paying for itself, Essilor utilization was significantly lower than most of Compass’ clients.
Why? Because Essilor needed to find creative ways to address its communication challenges. One of the major challenges was that Compass was not offered to the entire U.S. Essilor population. As a result, the benefits team couldn’t educate employees about the program using company-wide communications channels. For example, the annual benefit guide did not include Compass, and Compass was not widely discussed during Open Enrollment meetings.
This problem was further complicated because Essilor’s employees, who are eligible for the Compass pilot, work at 10 locations and less than 50 percent of them have a corporate email address. This can make it challenging to reach people and reinforce the program.
Murry and his team were committed to overcoming these challenges and to improving the employee utilization of Compass healthcare navigation services. Murry and team worked with Compass to relaunch the program in 2016.
Relaunching the Compass Health Navigation Program
While most eligible Essilor employees were familiar with Compass, it may have been a year or two since they had been reminded of the program.
To improve top-of-mind awareness of Compass, Murry and his team worked with their Compass Client Success Team to develop a coordinated communications plan that ran the course of 2016. The plan was launched in April 2016 and included the following:
- Executive Endorsement Letter from the Senior Vice President of Human Resources
- On-site Meetings at 7 Locations
- Live Webinars
“It’s important to touch base frequently, using multiple, different platforms,” Murry said. “We used meetings, webinars, email reminders and other communications tools to educate people about Compass.”
In April, Essilor held on-site meetings which really jump-started Compass utilization. It was most impactful to share testimonials from Essilor employees about how Compass had positively touched their lives. We were also able to incorporate some information about Compass during Open Enrollment meetings in October. For the groups eligible, they were encouraged to reach out to Compass for plan selection support during Open Enrollment.
Ongoing monthly outreach from Essilor’s Compass Health Pro, Kaylie, was also key to the plan. Essilor employees could simply respond to Kaylie’s emails for help with a healthcare issue. Whether it was getting help with an insurance benefits question, finding a highly-rated doctor, determining the cost of a procedure, coordinating a doctor’s appointment or getting help with a medical bill, their Compass Health Pro consultant was there to help.
Results – Doubled Health Plan Utilization
As a result of the coordinated communication effort, Essilor doubled Compass utilization from 10 percent to 21 percent over a 12-month period. Not only did utilization double, but also the number of Compass solutions per user increased from 2.2 to 2.5. In addition, the average savings per user jumped from $643 to $1,109.
Figure 1: Essilor doubled Compass utilization from 10 percent to 21 percent over a 12-month period
“It’s exciting to see that the employees are not only using Compass more, but they’re using Compass for the right types of solutions that are going help us to reduce our overall costs,” Murry said.
Figure 2: How Essilor Employees Use Compass
After relaunching Compass to members of the pilot program, 65 percent of Compass solutions were tied to good consumer behavior. These proactive vs. reactive behaviors included reaching out to Compass for doctor recommendations, cost estimates and prescription reviews.
Figure 3: Year-Over-Year Results After Compass Program Relaunch
Employee Reactions to Health Plan Utilization – “Watercooler Talk”
During the webinar, Murry used three examples of employee feedback to demonstrate the positive reactions from Essilor employees.
- “I owe it all to you and your amazing help because I could not have done it myself. Believe me when I say I will be singing the praises of Compass Professional Health Services! Thanks again, Kaylie. You’ve made a world of difference for me.”
- “Just when I thought I had exhausted all my options, I was referred to Compass. I had a call that day and an answer the next day with positive feedback. It was taken care of within a day. Having my second surgery and a broken pelvis this year, I felt very frustrated with all the bills and correspondence. Compass was what I needed to have faith again.”
- “Compass consistently provides quality options at the best price for the medical services I am searching for. Finding a provider over the Internet is random chance and physician referrals can be even worse. I recently received an imaging referral from my physician for a center which would have cost $2,000 out of pocket. Compass provided three options all under $500 and the center I used cost $200.”
Key Takeaways for Healthcare Benefits Professionals
According to Murry, there are three main takeaways for organizations that want to increase health plan engagement:
- If you think you’ve communicated enough – you probably haven’t. Keep on talking to your employees using all the tools at your disposal.
- Be patient, but persistent. Have a long-term plan in mind because it takes time and effort to reach your goals.
- Have very specific goals. In Essilor’s case, they kept their focus on doubling Compass utilization over a 12-month period.
Want to watch the full Essilor webinar? See our July 6, 2017 blog post.
To learn more about how to empower your employees with healthcare navigation services, register for our webinars.