by Laura Cave, Director of Marketing at Brella | March 8, 2021
It’s no secret that employees often struggle to understand their health benefits and the choices available to them. After years of pioneering new solutions with Accolade, Haven, and now Rightway Healthcare, Paula Bush is more convinced than ever that benefits navigation support and patient advocacy are the keys to making health benefits work better for employees and their employers.
Why benefits navigation?
After starting her career in a patient-facing role at a physician’s office, Paula migrated over to the payer side, where she worked in member services. The longer she managed member services operations where the goal was volume and efficiency, the more she felt she was drifting away from serving the member in a personalized way.
Eventually, Paula realized that there wasn’t a space where consumers could turn for advice from an advocate who had solely their best interest in mind.
“When you want to buy a house, you get a realtor. If you’re gonna get financial support, you get a financial advisor. Why in healthcare do you have to become an expert when you or a loved one is going through something and you’re at a point in time where you’re least likely to be able to absorb information and figure out all the logistics of navigating where to go and what to do? You need a go-to person who is an expert in that space to help guide you through the process.”
Pioneering patient advocacy solutions
With this consumer frustration in mind, Paula jumped at the chance to join the founding team at Accolade in 2008 to build a benefits navigation solution. “It was a risk, but the minute we introduced the model and started seeing the value that it was providing to the members that we served, I knew I was in the right place.” The team experimented and learned a lot as they carved out a whole new benefit amidst all the complexity of the healthcare industry.
Today at Rightway Healthcare, Paula and her team are designing patient advocacy solutions with a consumer-centric approach. Healthcare is personal, so Rightway’s patient advocates take into account the member’s health situation as well as all the resources that are available to them in order to bring forward solutions and options that can be knit together into a plan to get the care they need.
What does the consumer really need?
When it comes to building new solutions, “Don’t build what you think people need. Understand what people need and then build the technology to meet those needs,” Paula says.
Technology is ultimately a tool that allows Paula and her team at Rightway to create a personalized approach to patient solutions. They’ve learned from the industry not only what consumers want and need but also what employers need. Employers appreciate an easy-to-integrate solution that doesn’t blow up their benefit ecosystem. So Rightway developed a cost-effective solution that can easily wrap around an employer’s existing benefits program.
Today at Rightway, they do predictive analytics that drives “next-best actions” based on the individual’s needs. They have successfully increased the healthcare utilization of the consumers who need their support most. They also help identify high-quality and cost-effective providers, going beyond reviews to bring in outcomes data and other factors to identify the physicians who are delivering real value that balances health outcomes and cost.
To hear more about what Paula and her team are up to at Rightway Healthcare, including a new PBM solution, listen to the full episode.
While there are many books that have helped Paula grow in her career along the way, her current read is called The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham. It’s about avoiding those dumb mistakes that sabotage growth, profit, and business success.
To learn more about Rightway Healthcare you can visit their website at https://rightwayhealthcare.com/. Note, this episode is for informational and educational purposes only. Paula Bush is an advisor to Brella, but she and Rightway Healthcare have no other affiliation with Brella or Greenhouse Life Insurance Company.
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