History/Organizational Structure

The Business Health Care Group grew out of frustration felt by several CEOs of large Milwaukee-based employers in the early 2000s concerning health care costs in southeast Wisconsin as compared with their other business locations, particularly other areas in the Midwest.

A study commissioned by the Greater Milwaukee Business Foundation on Health found in 2003, health care costs in southeast Wisconsin were 39 percent above the Midwest average. The CEOs realized something needed to be done if the region was going to thrive economically and maintain jobs.

They also understood no one employer was large enough to influence the health care market. It would take a number of large employers, speaking with one voice and utilizing a common strategy to impact health care costs in southeast Wisconsin. Ultimately, 11 corporations with headquarters in southeast Wisconsin and two other existing coalitions founded BHCG in 2003 as a member-owned Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to explore alternatives to contain health care costs in the region.

An Evolving Strategy

In January of 2005 BHCG selected Humana to be its medical plan administration partner. In this capacity, Humana was charged with developing a provider network (Humana Preferred) which was made available to member employers on January 1, 2006.

In 2013 a rigorous strategic planning process was initiated to assess how to maintain BHCG’s successful track record of bending the cost curve in its health care market. The process culminated in the decision to replace Humana with UnitedHealthcare, effective January 1, 2016, to offer an innovative health plan offering (using UnitedHealthcare's broad network) that best reflected BHCG's strategy of strengthening consumer and provider accountability.

BHCG’s member employers believe high quality, cost-effective health care is a key element of making Wisconsin a great place to do business. In 2018, BHCG’s executive leadership, with assistance from outside experts, embarked on a strategic planning process to define the direction of the organization for the next three to five years. The strategic plan’s goal was to demonstrate responsible corporate citizenship by improving health care value for member employers, their employees and dependents, and the community at-large through identifying and contracting with best in class strategic partners who are committed to creating positive change.

Reimagining Health Care

BHCG’s strategic planning process led the organization to partner with Centivo to develop and administer a high-performance health plan to reduce costs through a shared effort by employers and health care provider communities. The way forward is a health plan solution that gives the employer community a more direct voice with providers and features better alignment and accountability for both sides.

Centivo worked with health systems and provider groups to create a health plan, effective January 1, 2022, that identifies high value providers and rewards those providers for value, not volume. Centivo works with employers to direct patients to high value providers and encourages coordinated care through the use of a primary care physician (PCP). The development of strong relationships with PCPs helps plan members navigate the health care system. The result is better health care choices and more predictable costs, key elements of the high-performance health plan solution.

The Power of Partnership

Integral to the BHCG value proposition is its ever-growing number of solutions to help employers more effectively manage their benefit programs. Working with best in class strategic partners, BHCG’s diverse portfolio of employer solutions aligns with BHCG’s mission to improve health care value. Presently, BHCG's best in class strategic partners include:

Membership Opportunities

Membership in BHCG is available to employers throughout Wisconsin and on a nationwide basis. Presently employers of all sizes participate in BHCG.

Access a listing of BHCG member employers.