Earning a Seat at the Table

When Norton Healthcare, an integrated health system in Louisville, Kentucky, decided to revamp its employee benefits program more than seven years ago, company leaders wanted a partner to provide advice and support—and that’s what they found with Lockton.

I’ve heard other brokers call themselves consultants but Lockton’s professionals really are. In reality, this is a differentiator.”

- John Hammond, System Director of Human Resources

A Strategic Focus

With more than 12,000 employees in the health system, Norton’s number one expense is benefits. Norton wanted to gain control of costs and create a more cohesive benefits program that would run smoothly while helping them attract and retain top talent. The Lockton team began with intensive data analysis to identify cost drivers, and then developed strategies that would create both efficiency and savings for the organization.

This keen eye for business strategy earned the Lockton team a seat at the table for Norton Healthcare’s annual strategic planning process. Working closely with Norton leadership, Lockton helped the organization develop a multiyear strategic plan, identifying new opportunities for savings while maintaining an attractive benefits program.

The Results of Partnership

  • Streamlined benefits plan offerings leading to annual savings of approximately $7 million.
  • Compliance with constantly evolving federal regulations.
  • Development of a Norton-specific wellness program.
  • Access to detailed data that drives all decisions.

Lockton provides us the guidance we need to ensure we’re following our plan and holding employees accountable for living a healthier life. This partnership keeps us balanced.”

- Tony Bohn, Chief Human Resources Officer

Wellness that Works

Once Lockton helped Norton transform its health and welfare program, leadership turned its focus to a health risk management strategy. With assistance from Lockton, the organization created NGood Health, a program that incents employees to live healthier lives. According to Bohn, “Using InfoLock® Employee Benefits data from Lockton, we identified the top five cost indicators in our health plan and have begun developing wellness initiatives around those.”

Creating an Accountable Care Organization

Employees were not the only individuals held accountable. Norton also began holding its own physicians accountable for adhering to evidence-based best practices. As part of an accountable care organization (ACO) pilot program with the Brookings Institute, developed in partnership with Humana, Norton began analyzing InfoLock® Employee Benefits data to understand individual physician practice patterns by disease state. “Our goal with the ACO pilot was to prove that managing disease states would help us lower costs,” says Bohn. “With the detailed data we receive from Lockton, we’re seeing early evidence of progress.”

Improved Employee Satisfaction

A unique strategy has helped Norton further enhance its employee benefits offering. On behalf of Norton, Lockton hired a team of Benefits Education Specialists (BESs). These human resources professionals focus on helping all employees understand and fully leverage their benefits through one-on-one meetings. Relevant voluntary benefits are offered to help address other potential risks. This team also began handling day-to-day employee questions and managing the annual open enrollment process.

Survey feedback revealed high employee satisfaction and improved understanding of Norton’s benefits package. Best of all, this team has been run without additional cost or staffing, fully funded by adoption of voluntary benefits. Thanks to the support of the BES team, the Norton human resources group is now is able to focus primarily on strategic initiatives. “I don’t need to hire more staff because I’m already getting what I need from the Lockton team,” says Hammond.

An Evolving Partnership

According to Hammond, “I think the most important thing for me, as a benefits practitioner, is that Lockton partners with us. That consultative approach is so very different. I haven’t found it often in my career.”

“It’s a significant partnership,” says Bohn. “Lockton has helped us approach our benefits program from a strategic standpoint, understanding our need to add value for our employees while being good stewards of our organization’s resources.”

HR Leaders Walk the Walk

When Norton made the commitment to implement a Lockton Health Risk Solutions program, its senior human resources leaders took the commitment personally by addressing their own health challenges.

According to Tony Bohn, “I was the guy who had more chins than hairs on the top of my head. I wore a size 42" waist pants and was very unhealthy. And I was standing in front of our employees, telling them ‘You need to live healthier lives or we’re not going to be able to afford our health plan.’” Today he’s 60 pounds lighter and a model of the healthy lifestyle that is actively promoted within the organization.

Similarly, John Hammond came to the realization he needed to make significant changes. “We were rolling out our wellness plan and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for someone who was responsible for wellness to be in the shape I was in.” He began focusing on his health, losing more than 100 pounds that he’s kept off due to his commitment to exercise and good nutrition.

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When Norton Healthcare, an integrated health system in Louisville, Kentucky, decided to revamp its employee benefits program more than seven years ago, company leaders wanted a partner to provide advice and support—and that’s what they found with Lockton.