The Catalyst

The Catalyst

Did You Know?

Northwestern Mutual Raises Money for Sixteenth Street’s Patient Relief Fund

BHCG has been a proud supporter of the outstanding work Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers does in our community. For the past three years BHCG has contributed all of the proceeds from its annual golf outing and served as the Presenting Sponsor for their last two Celebrity Roasts. Earlier this year employees of BHCG member employer Northwestern Mutual’s product and innovation teams also became actively involved and hosted a charity auction to help families during the pandemic, raising money for Sixteenth Street’s Patient Relief Fund.

The Patient Relief Fund was established in April 2020 as part of Sixteenth Street’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fund ensures patients and their families who may be out of work or have no access to any community resources get basic needs met such as food, medicine, baby supplies, personal hygiene supplies and emergency financial support for rent and utilities. To date, the Patient Relief Fund has raised more than $280,000.

Analytics Update: GNS Physician Value Study 2.0 and RAND 4.0

Since its inception, analytics have been a core element of BHCG’s strategy to understand how and where the best care is delivered. Armed with data identifying high value providers, member employers can help their employees and families make good choices so they consume only necessary services from high value providers.

GNS Healthcare Physician Value Study

Key to this effort—and in keeping with BHCG’s commitment to demonstrate responsible corporate citizenship—is our sponsorship of the GNS Physician Value Study and support of RAND and their Hospital Price Transparency Project. In 2019, using data from the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO), GNS Healthcare undertook an extensive evaluation of primary care physician and select specialist performance throughout the state.

Results were announced to health care system representatives and other stakeholders in late 2019. The results have been used to:

  • Develop a dialogue with the state’s providers to support provider performance improvement
  • Inform health care decision-making by consumers
  • Assist Centivo, BHCG’s best in class strategic partner, with its provider network development efforts

Work is presently underway on version 2.0 of this study and results will be made public later this year.

RAND Hospital Price Transparency Project

In 2020 RAND released the results of its Hospital Price Transparency Project 3.0. The lead investigator, Christopher Whaley, presented the results, including results specific to Wisconsin, at a webinar hosted by BHCG in September. In summary, RAND 3.0 found:

  • In Wisconsin, employers and their employees paid on average more than three times what Medicare would have paid for the same services – putting our state in the top ten of the most expensive states in the country.
  • There does not appear to be a clear link between hospital price and quality/safety, suggesting higher cost hospitals do not necessarily deliver higher quality care, nor do lower cost hospitals necessarily deliver lower quality care.
  • The increases in spending are driven by price growth, not utilization, and prices vary widely from market to market and from hospital to hospital within a market.

Work is currently underway on RAND 4.0. BHCG encourages self-funded employers in the state to ask their claims administrator to submit their claims data to RAND. For more information about submitting data, please contact Jennifer LaMere at or 262-875-3312 X3. The more self-funded employers providing their claims data to RAND, the more robust the data set will be, benefiting all health care purchasers throughout the state. RAND 4.0 results are expected to be published in early 2022

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