T-Mobile executives spoke during a Pacific Business Group on Health webinar about how they are simplifying healthcare for employees. The presentation was given by Tina (Corea) Marshall, T-Mobile’s Senior Director of Employee Benefits and Recognition, Mike Ralph, T-Mobile’s Senior Benefits Program Manager and Peter Hegi, Chief Marketing Officer at Compass. They did an excellent job of explaining how the telecommunications company internalized its “Un-carrier” approach to simplify healthcare for its employees.
Case Study Overview
Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile has a young, diverse workforce of 50,000 U.S. employees, which includes employees who work in its retail stores and call centers, as well as engineers and administrative staff who work in its corporate office. With such a diverse population, T-Mobile’s employees have a wide range of healthcare needs. In an attempt to better meet these needs, the company applied its “Un-carrier” approach of listening to the voice of the customer, and partnered with Compass Professional Health Services to simplify healthcare for its employees.
The Challenge: Providing One Resource for Healthcare Questions
As a growing company, T-Mobile wanted its frontline employees to focus their time and energy on satisfying customer needs, rather than worrying about how to navigate the healthcare system. It also wanted a resource to alleviate some of the HR and Benefits Team’s administrative burden.
The ultimate goal: To provide employees with a one-stop shop for answering all of their healthcare questions.
The Compass Healthcare Navigation Solution
“We needed someone who was highly trained and could provide our employees with healthcare information quickly, so they don’t have to call multiple places,” said Tina (Corea) Marshall, Senior Director of Employee Benefits and Recognition at T-Mobile. “That’s when we started looking for the resources we found in the Compass Health Pro® solution. It all tied back to simplifying healthcare navigation.”
Compass assigned eight Health Pros to communicate with T-Mobile employees across the country. One Health Pro consultant is assigned to each region, and knows the ins and outs of T-Mobile’s health plan and programs. The Health Pro helps T-Mobile employees in a number of ways, such as:
- Finding a great doctor
- Saving money on costly healthcare expenses (like imaging scans and surgical procedures)
- Finding less expensive alternatives for costly prescriptions
- Reviewing bills to make sure employees are not being overcharged
T-Mobile used a multi-pronged strategy to roll out the program. It partnered with Compass to create a fun, animated launch video and featured Health Pro content on its intranet. It also worked with the Compass Health Pro team to host events at its 17 call centers across the country, where Health Pros met with employees and answered their questions. In addition, T-Mobile created educational videos that featured T-Mobile’s Compass Health Pros answering frequently asked questions about medical, dental and vision plans.
How Compass Navigator Works
In the first nine months of the program, approximately half of the T-Mobile employees who reached out to Compass used it for healthcare advocacy services — which includes answering questions about how their plan works, verifying coverage of a particular service, reviewing medical bills and other care coordination services like scheduling appointments, transferring medical records and selecting the right health plan. The other half used Compass to become better healthcare consumers — requesting doctor recommendations, cost estimates and prescription reviews.
For example, an employee needed a CT scan of his abdomen. Since many times employees misinterpret what is actually needed, his Compass Health Pro called the ordering physician to confirm the employee needed a CT scan and not another type of imaging procedure. After researching nearby facilities, the Health Pro returned with three high quality and cost-effective options. As a result, both the employee and T-Mobile saved money and the employee received quality care. The Health Pro can also schedule medical appointments if the member wants.
Compass also helps increase awareness and utilization of other T-Mobile benefit programs. To date, 17 percent of Compass solutions have referred employees to other T-Mobile health benefit programs, including telemedicine and the company’s Employee Assistance Program. For example, an employee was sick and requested a same-day doctor’s appointment. His Compass Health Pro told him about T-Mobile’s Teladoc telemedicine program, which allows employees to receive same-day care over the phone. In addition, the Health Pro recommended three urgent care facilities in the area, as well as a nearby primary care physician, for future reference.
T-Mobile Case Study Shows Overwhelming Results
In the first nine months of the program (beginning April 2015), T-Mobile achieved more than 4,000 Health Pro solutions — and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Employees who used Compass in that time period, did so 2.2 times, and households typically saved $516, on average.
“We’ve received mountains of praise and kudos from our employees and from T-Mobile human resource colleagues regarding Compass,” said Mike Ralph, T-Mobile’s Senior Benefits Program Manager.
According to Ralph, “We also received unsolicited feedback from a key internal strategic partner, who said: ‘Seriously, you are surrounded by outstanding talent in your organization. What an honor it is for T-Mobile to share with its employee what will no doubt be one of the best benefits we have ever given them.'”
According to Marshall, “We consider Compass an extension of the T-Mobile benefits team and look to them as a trusted strategic partner.”
Check out Part II – Q&A with T-Mobile: Simplifying Healthcare for Employees.
To learn more about the Compass Navigator solution, click HERE.