From the start, the FG team knew it could help AboutHealth network better. FG just needed to convince the Wisconsin-based strategic regional healthcare organization (SRHO) to meet. In truth, it didn’t take much convincing. AboutHealth knew it had everything to gain and nothing to lose by meeting with the FG team. First up, discussing Wide Area Network (WAN) savings opportunities across AboutHeaIth’s six owner systems. But, that was only the beginning of this successful collaboration.
FG Gains Trust by Delivering on Promises
Admittedly, the first meeting between FG and AboutHealth was rocky. In the room were owners and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from AboutHealth’s six independent health systems. The CIOs were just getting to know each other and learning the reasons their CEOs created the AboutHealth strategic organization. And now, the FG team was presenting the big vision to save millions with a more efficient and highly collaborative healthcare network.
Even though FG explained it would do the heavy lifting and the burden on the team would be minimal, FG’s collaborative vision was met with confusion, appropriate resistance, and a lot of questions.
“If I were FG, I would have left that meeting thinking there is no way I would want to do this engagement,” said AboutHealth President and CEO Keith Livingston.
But walking away wasn’t even a consideration, said FG’s Scot Eberle and Gerald Horst. Instead, the FG team listened, answered questions, and addressed concerns.
FG explained the first step to networking better is the creation of a Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) consortium. By doing so, FG estimated AboutHealth would recoup about $3 million on top of what they were already receiving by filing individually for HCF rebates. The savings can be reinvested into network enhancements that generate an even greater ROI down the road.
“We talked about the benefits of the HCF program as a starting point to realize savings,” Horst recalled. “We explained that they didn’t have to change their network or change their existing carrier relationships. They had nothing to lose by collaborating on a cost-saving consortium.”
Through a deep understanding of complex HCF requirements and the healthcare technology landscape, FG delivered on its promise to uncover additional savings opportunities. A lot of additional savings, in fact, is one of the most significant savings initiatives delivered to owners to date.
With FG the Savings Continue to Add Up
With its “Network Better” philosophy in mind, the FG team kept asking key questions during the HCF process: What can you do to maximize the dollars coming back to you? How can you improve the overall quality of your network while you’re trying to reduce costs? Those discussions led to AboutHealth hiring FG to look at each owner’s WAN for optimization opportunities.
FG proposed two paths: Create and share a new network design or combine service contracts to get a better rate. AboutHealth opted for the latter, hiring FG to move forward with optimizing contracts and services across all six owners.
Through the RFP process, two viable options emerged: Owners could maintain their current carriers yet leverage volume buying power or consolidate carriers at current service levels. The AboutHealth owners asked FG to begin to leverage their buying power, resulting in a 43% reduction in ethernet and internet service costs.
“Our owners trust the FG organization,” Livingston said, calling FG “flexible, knowledgeable, reliable, and transparent.”
“They work on our behalf. They come to us with ideas. They come to us with opportunities.”
Most important to Livingston: the FG team’s unbiased industry expertise.
“They’re working for us. They’re not working for anybody else. They don’t come in and say, ‘This is how you have to do it. They have options and you can choose one of those options or create a hybrid option from what they’re suggesting. It’s truly the flexibility to do what we want as the customer. They’re open to helping us be successful. “
“The company’s neutrality is intentional,” says FG’s Scot Eberle.
“We made a decision when we built FG that we wanted to be completely transparent about what we do and how we do it,” he says. “Clients like AboutHealth get that neutrality along with the benefit of 30-plus years of knowledge and industry experience. That really accelerates where they can take their business, based on the technology.”