Kicking The Can Down The Road & Believing in Magic

Large self-funded employer sponsored health plan adopts ill informed strategies to reign in health care costs……………

The Brownsville Independent School District, the largest employer south of San Antonio, Texas with approximately 7,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding half a billion dollars, is struggling to contain rampant health care cost increases. Like many plan sponsors, the BISD believes in magic.

Their solution ?  Cost shift to plan members and throw more money at providers through secretive managed care contracts they cannot see nor audit.

A 59 minute video reveals their strategies which is …………………..continued deficit spending coupled with “hope”…………hope that magic is real and claims will reduce over a three or four year period leading to all things wonderful.

This strategy is headed for failure.


Write to


“Irresponsible foolishness.”


I give them credit for trying but this is the epitome of being penny wise and pound foolish.  What they did right was to have extended meetings with their employees.  What they did wrong was having those meetings with a very very limited knowledge base.  This is what you and I discussed the other day and where we can deliver exceptional value to these employers.  Can you imagine what we could have accomplished if we had the same access to the employees and were able to explain what is possible?  I am now really excited about our future and believe we are creating a space where we can excel.  Be thinking about how we build this education process.


At the very least BISD administration should begin educating their insurance committee on breaking the status quo and over time as the education process evolves any future move away from the status quo would be a reasoned and well laid out strategy with all on board and comfortable with the concept. I am firmly convinced that if the American public really understood how the system is financially structured they would revolt. With almost 20% of GDP going to health care, American workers, through lower and stagnant wages, are the ones who are ultimately paying for all of this, not their employers. 
As long as employers continue to rely on third party intermediaries whose vested interests are not aligned with theirs, medical caregivers will remain at the trough. 
Here is an article by Dave Chase that lays out the problem in understandable terms:

In today’s world of proven technologies that help employers become proactive and reduce costs, including Reference Based Pricing , Real-Time access to claims data, Transparent Access to providers who have the best pricing and better outcomes; and, On-Site access to providers, it’s appalling that their solution is to shift costs to members by increasing deductibles and c0pays!