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» Women in the Workplace, Health Insurance Shouldn’t Suck, Switch Operators, and Mental Health Crisis Response

June 14, 2022

Acrisure, Behavioral Health, Business Strategies, Compliance, Digital Health, Direct Contracting, Employee Benefits, Health Equity, Health Insurance, Healthcare Spending, Human Resources, Mental Health, News, Prescription Drugs, Research

I didn’t know Drake has health insurance bars like this in him…

I want to start this week’s newsletter with some items of note on gender, specifically communication, the pay gap, and investment in founders. Because wow, if you’re looking for a competitive advantage in your industry, then you should be chomping at the bit to better listen to and engage the women in your organization, pay them the same rate as their male counterparts, and invest in founders who the industry has traditionally overlooked.

Besides the obvious ethical reasons for this, a business has a competitive advantage and performs better with women in executive roles (See this, and that, and this, and also this). In happy news, the gender gap in workforce participation is at an all-time low, but that’s no reason to stop pushing the ball downfield.

Women Talk Too Much

The tweet below showed up in my timeline right after I read this PBS article entitled “Women Talk Too Much“:


The tl;dr on the PBS article is that despite proverbs and sayings in many languages across the world about women talking too much, the opposite is true, and men actually think women are dominating the conversation as soon as they say anything at all. 

Studies have found that men generally dominate talking time, and while we see it at home and at work, studies have found it starts early in the classroom. So what happens when women and men are deliberately given the same amount of talking time? Women are perceived as getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender, one of the researchers puts it this way:

The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.

This is really important stuff. Again, start with the ethics. Who are you as an organization? How do you engage everyone on the team? It starts with awareness and the humility to look in the mirror. And frankly, I think that what the small and mid-sized businesses do here is more important than whatever Facebook or Google are doing. 

Equal Pay for Equal Work: Is it Time for a Pay Audit?

It’s crazy that despite how long we’ve been discussing the gender pay gap, we still have so far to go in closing the gap. It’s a really significant compliance issue for employers so our compliance team at Acrisure is hosting a webinar this week to discuss the history, the progress we’ve made, and the growth still to come. They’ll cover existing Federal statutes that crate compliance concerns and address the basics of an internal pay audit to fix any discrepancies in an organization.

This webinar is on Thursday, June 16th at 11 pm PT and you can register here.

Your Health Insurance Shouldn’t Suck

Speaking of webinars, I hosted a webinar last week titled “Your Health Insurance Shouldn’t Suck | Get an Edge in Recruiting” and you can watch a recording of it here.

In short, your health insurance might suck due to any one of the following:

  • A mismatch between what you offer and what employees actually want (costs vs features)
  • A lack of transparency means employees can’t assess quality (no healthcare Yelp)
  • Misaligned incentives are everywhere and make it complex and expensive to consume healthcare
  • A short-term view means you’re forced to make uninformed and difficult 12-month decisions for something that is a core component of your value proposition to employees and recruits

And it closes with a discussion of what it takes to offer health insurance that doesn’t suck. The key ideas include:

  • Steer employees to quality care
  • Pay lower prices
  • Embrace technology
  • Implement strategies and assess, then iterate them over time with data

In short, refinance your health plan, use savings and data to enhance your benefits in the right way, and go attract your dream team. Let me know if you want to chat more about this.

Seae Ventures launches $107M Fund to Invest in Women and BIPOC Entrepreneurs

Seae Ventures launched the largest fund dedicated to investing in women- and BIPOC-led companies, with a focus on companies in spaces such as financial wellness, mental health, women’s health, and personalized medicine that target underserved and vulnerable populations.

There are large gender and racial equity gaps in start-up funding and capital. The founders of Seae Ventures are looking to close the gap and have already funded 17 companies including Health in Her HUE, Hurdle, MD Ally, Moving Analytics, Tia, and more

Addressing Mental Health by Dispatching Clinicians Reduced Crime

One area of mental health that comes up, again and again, is its role in crime. Research has found that police officers spend a quarter to two-thirds of their time with nonviolent people in distress from mental health or substance abuse problems. In response, cities are experimenting with dispatching a mental health team to calls, which includes a mental health clinician and a paramedic. Doing so reduced reports of less serious crimes such as trespassing, public disorder, and resisting arrest by one-third.

How ‘Switch Operators’ Contribute to Excessive Drug Costs

People pay too much for prescription drugs in this country (and healthcare in general) and a lot of the issue is due to the opaque way Pharmacy Benefit Managers or PBMs earn revenue. USC’s Center for Health Policy and Economics released a report looking at how spread pricing and copay clawbacks drive up the cost of generic drugs.

Another topic in prescription drug pricing is what’s called ‘Switch Operators’ and Dr. Bricker has a good summary of this topic. Basically, drug companies provide coupons to cover employee copays to make their expensive drugs the same price to consumers as generics, while the plan is still be paying hundreds of dollars per fill. By doing this, switch operators negate the plan design strategy of charging higher copays for more expensive, specialty drugs. So it really messes up a plan and often doesn’t help consumers at all.

That’s it for this week’s Competitive Advantages! Drop a note below with any nuggets you took away and click here if you want to chat further about any of these topics.

Posted by in Acrisure, Behavioral Health, Business Strategies, Compliance, Digital Health, Direct Contracting, Employee Benefits, Health Equity, Health Insurance, Healthcare Spending, Human Resources, Mental Health, News, Prescription Drugs, Research