Workplace Wellness with David F. Berg

President and Co-founder
Redirect Health

What innovations and products have you launched recently or are preparing?

We’ve always been highly focused on helping small businesses provide affordable and meaningful access to healthcare, so we could turn this into their recruiting and retention advantage over larger competitors. Today, many of these companies and people are completely shut out of traditional insurance by high costs.

Starting last quarter, we created a similar solution that enables people to get this service without going through their employer. For now, we’re doing this only in Phoenix — from Surprise to Mesa. We call it iEverydayCARE™. It’s the same cost as if their employer offered it, and we haven’t had to raise this price in four years. It’s working very well.

These families can feel confident they can get primary care, labs and chiropractic without copays, deductibles, coinsurance, and irritating and worrisome out-of-pocket limits. And we can make many other services, like prescriptions and X-rays, very affordable. There is 24/7 English and Spanish access to a team of experts and doctors who always have the medical records they need in front of them. This means people can expect to get the care they need, in the most efficient way, with the aim of not needing to miss work because of an unnecessary doctor’s appointment. Navigation through the specialist, hospital, insurance and drug systems so that time and money is protected is a big part of what our members appreciate. We can make it much easier than they experience today with the traditional insurance model. We can even promise them same-day and next-day appointments and front-of-the-line privileges at the doctor’s office, so they don’t wait.

An employer who is about to lose a valued employee to a competitor who provides health insurance can now recommend that the employee get iEverydayCARE instead of leaving. This would be a temporary solution until the employer can install Redirect Health in their company for all employees.

Artificial Intelligence is impacting almost every aspect of healthcare. Just one upcoming example: Member service calls are all currently recorded at Redirect Health. Soon they will also be evaluated by AI. If a member needs extra help, AI can start the first steps toward resolving the issue, and also get a manager or doctor involved quickly. Overall, AI will make fast and reliable predictions and will promote even less friction, less cost and improved timelines for better healthcare treatments for Redirect members. I can see us very soon being able to make predictions that solve members’ challenges before they even know they’re about to be frustrated and waste time or spend unnecessary money. I’m really excited about this and much of my free time goes into learning about AI and other new technologies.

To provide a sense of what is happening in the industry, please share the challenges you are addressing to enable superior healthcare services for your clients.

When more than half of Arizona families earn less than $57,000 a year, and the out-of-pocket costs of traditional insurance is $20,000-$30,000 after taxes, it’s pretty obvious the arithmetic won’t work. This isn’t news anymore. What is very new is how our local hospitals are dealing with their bills for people who can’t afford insurance.

It used to be that our local hospitals would work with families and give those without insurance the same prices they gave insurance companies or Medicare. It only seemed fair. Now, however, we see a tendency to charge uninsured people rates that are triple or even 10 times what they would be paid by insurance or Medicare. Most of our hospitals have merged and/or been acquired to become part of large national hospital corporations or nonprofits. Some hospitals in Arizona are, actually, legal business partners with huge insurance corporations. The kindness and “community feel” of our hospitals may still exist when we’re working directly with the doctors and nurses, but it is long gone when the dozens of bills arrive from corporate headquarters. Unless, of course, you know how to navigate the complexity.

Failing to negotiate pricing, not watching that only necessary services are performed and billed, and not making sure the bills are correct can lead to collection notices and even bankruptcy. This is truer now than ever for something as routine as having a baby or an emergency like a burst appendix or a broken arm. Everybody needs help protecting their wallet today more than ever.

In what way(s) are you focused on helping business?

Businesses offer health plans for a reason: to attract and retain the people they need; to be competitive. As an exclusive new service for our clients, we’re committed to doing the initial recruiting for them so they can leverage their Redirect Health investment. The staff at Redirect Health continues helping businesses find low-cost, common-sense healthcare solutions. This hasn’t changed. But employees with meaningful access to healthcare work more productively when they have less stress and worry. High payroll deductions for unaffordable insurance are demotivating for many. For a business using Redirect Health, there are no deductibles, copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket limits for the routine care. There is a huge competitive advantage of attracting better employees and keeping these employees longer. This strategy is particularly effective for those who make hourly wages of $20 or less.

Costs from waste and unnecessary paperwork that frustrate and scare so many is reduced or eliminated. Healthcare becomes easy and truly affordable for even the lowest-wage earners in any company. Attraction of many job candidates and loyalty advantages that dramatically lower employee turnover costs are the result. Workers comp costs are held at minimum levels, too. It’s important to us that all our clients are confident they will see a return on their health plan investment.

About Redirect Health

Redirect Health is a low-cost, small-business healthcare solution designed for better employee recruiting, retention and work injury cost reduction. It is exclusively for small businesses and families who feel shut out of the traditional health insurance models by complexity and high prices.

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