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Updating employee benefits while controlling costs amid inflation and the Great Resignation

Podcast - June 7, 2022


Recruitment & Hiring

Compensation & Benefits

Daniel Williams MBA, MSEM

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Several economic and health policy forces are converging on medical group practices that put administrative leaders in a position of finding new ways to retain and recruit clinical providers and staff while not adding to a financial pinch from rising inflation and sustained competition for workers.

Jim Holder, vice president of employee benefits consulting at Holmes Murphy & Associates and co-creator of MGMA BenefitsPlus, joined the MGMA Insights podcast to outline those forces and point to a way forward that allows organizations to bolster their offerings without breaking the bank.

Holder said that his work in employee benefit consulting for employers has recently focused on two primary motivations:
  1. Strategies to help lower clinical risk and costs for employers
  2. Improving pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) contracts for better terms and definitions that align with the clinical risk reduction strategy.
This is especially important because the hopes for lowered costs have not been realized more than a decade following the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “We continue to see hyperinflation in healthcare, both for individuals and businesses, and it’s the No. 1 expenditure for our federal government,” Holder noted.

“The last six months, the No. 1 issue [for consumers] has been inflation,” Holder added, whether that’s increased prices at the gasoline pump or the grocery store. “There are some real things that are crowding out healthcare” for individual spending, on top of the growth in out-of-pocket healthcare spending in recent years as more employees shifted into high-deductible health plans.

Holder said that medical groups and health systems as employers typically have an advantage when it comes to taking a closer look at health insurance contracts for employees, as they understand the clinical risks that often lead to poorer outcomes and higher costs. However, making investments of time to get data from insurers about what clinical elements are driving those costs is difficult to do for busy practice leaders.

“Don’t think of your health insurance employee benefits as a once-a-year event,” Holder said. “It needs to be managed,” which can involve establishing transparency around claims data and connect it to “a plan that allows them to manage their healthcare expense in a meaningful way.”

Learn more

This episode is sponsored by:
  • Nuance — Nuance Dragon Ambient experience, or DAX, captures the patient story securely and accurately to automatically document at the point of care for increased efficiency and patient throughput. Discover how DAX provides a better patient experience and eliminates afterward documentation. Click here to see DAX in action and explore how it can transform your organization.
  • Onsite Women's Health — Onsite Women’s Health provides healthcare practices and providers with the ability to bring screening mammography in-house. Partnering with Onsite allows more women to keep up with their annual screening and gives anyone impacted by breast cancer a fighting chance. Learn more at
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The MGMA Insights podcast is produced by Daniel Williams, Rob Ketcham and Decklan McGee.

About the Author

Daniel Williams
Daniel Williams MBA, MSEM
Sr. Editor MGMA Englewood, Colorado

Daniel provides strategic content planning and development to engage healthcare professionals, managers and executives through e-newsletters, webinars, online events, books, podcasts and conferences. His major emphasis is in developing and curating relevant content in healthcare leadership and innovation that informs, educates and inspires the MGMA audience. You can reach Daniel at or 877.275.6462 x1298.


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