Region’s hospitals save millions by moving to common benefits insurance carriers

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Apr. 25, 2012

A move by the South West region’s 19 hospitals to use common benefit insurance carriers is saving millions of dollars in the first year alone.

In the first initiative of its kind, the hospitals publicly issued a collective Request for Proposal inviting benefit insurance carriers to submit proposals for the group benefits insurance plans of all the hospitals within the South West LHIN. The goal was to achieve savings for all the hospitals.

Proposals from multiple insurance carriers were received and a detailed evaluation methodology was used focusing on several key areas, including customer service and support, experience and qualifications, financial costs and quality of work. The successful insurance carriers for all benefit programs across the 19 hospitals were Manulife Financial and ACE INA. The transition to these new carriers is underway and in the first year, the collective savings for the hospitals is anticipated to be approximately $3.4 million. The estimated five-year savings are projected to be $16.33 million for the hospitals.

The initiative, which took three years of planning, was led by Stacey Weir, Director, Total Compensation at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

“We’re very proud of what we, together, have been able to achieve collectively for our hospitals and our staff,” says Weir. “This initiative demonstrates significant collaboration efforts on behalf of the hospitals.”

Particularly remarkable, says Marie Ormerod, Vice President, Workplace Health at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, is that all 19 Hospitals were able to achieve savings without disrupting benefit entitlements for employees. “The only implication for front line staff across the LHIN will be that some will have to submit their claims to a different carrier for reimbursement. This is the best kind of cost-savings initiative that will hopefully lead to other opportunities for collaboration.”

Michael Barrett, CEO of the South West LHIN, congratulates the 19 hospitals in the South West LHIN for their efforts.  “The initiative is another excellent example of how hospitals are working together to create greater value for money.  It is clear that hospitals can achieve more by working together, which is especially important during these challenging financial times. The $16.33 million in savings can now be reinvested back into the healthcare system.”

Hospitals involved:

  • St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital
  • London Health Sciences Centre
  • St. Joseph's Health Care, London
  • Hanover and District Hospital
  • Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital)
  • Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital
  • Woodstock General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Middlesex Hospital Alliance (Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital/Four Counties Health Services)
  • Alexandra Marine & General Hospital
  • South Huron Hospital Association
  • Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance (Listowel Memorial Hospital and the Wingham and District Hospital)
  • South Bruce Grey Health Centre
  • Grey Bruce Health Services

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For more information, please contact:
Dahlia Reich, Communication and Public Affairs
St. Joseph's Health Care London
Phone: 519 646-610 ext. 65294
dahlia.reich@sjhc.london.on.ca

St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading patient care, teaching and research centre in Canada with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct its research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Western University. Visit www.sjhc.london.on.ca

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