Insights From Industry Leaders: Carrum Health CEO, Sach Jain speaks with Jennifer Benz
December 15, 2016
Interview with Sachin Jain, CEO, Carrum Health
As part of celebrating our 10th anniversary, we are delighted to share this series of interviews with benefits leaders—Insights From Industry Leaders. These benefits pros share their thoughts on the current landscape, and their visions for the future. The interviews will be posted on my LinkedIn page as they are released weekly.
Today, we feature:
Sachin Jain, CEO, Carrum Health
1. What’s your current role and where are you focusing your time and energy?
I lead Carrum Health, which has developed an innovative solution to help employers address the growing cost of health benefits while improving employee health care outcomes and experiences. Carrum’s Bundled Payment platform connects self-insured employers directly with top-quality regional hospitals, providing up to a 50% reduction in employers’ biggest claim expenses. The Carrum solution is available as a carve-out or add-on to the employer’s current health benefits. As a carve-out, it significantly reduces cost impacts; as an add-on, it expands provider choices for employees by bringing into their network top hospitals and surgeons that they can access with zero financial uncertainty.
I’m currently spending time collaborating with benefits leaders across the West Coast to continue to expand and enhance the Carrum offering.
2. How did you get into employee benefits?
Before getting involved with Carrum, I was part of the Global Health practice of Booz & Company (now Strategy&), where I spent time working with different stakeholders in the health care value chain. I noticed the increased pressure placed on employers due to the ever- increasing cost of providing health benefits to employees. Nearly half of the cost of employer-provided health benefits goes toward planned surgeries, for which both the pricing and quality vary widely. Through my work in the emerging value-based care model of Bundled Payments at Booz, I realized that there was a way to streamline this category. I eventually decided to leave Booz and work on this idea, which became Carrum Health.
3. Why have you stayed in the industry?
The benefits industry faces significant challenges in figuring out how to provide easily accessible, high-quality, and affordable health care to employees while allowing for cost containment and financial certainty. I feel that the work that we are doing at Carrum helps employers realistically achieve this triple goal and make the most of their benefits dollars.
4. Why do employee benefits matter?
In a free-market economy, where employers are constantly competing for the best talent, benefits play a key role in attracting and retaining employees. They demonstrate an investment in the business, help to attract and retain quality employees, and promote a healthier workforce.
Additionally, employers in the U.S. spend close to a trillion dollars on health benefits alone. This would put U.S. employer health benefits in the list of top 20 countries by GDP size.
5. Why does benefits communication matter?
Without effective communication, even a great benefits package may end up with disappointing results. Many employees are not aware of what benefits are available to them until they need them—or until it’s too late to use them. Communicating benefits on a regular basis, and using different channels to ensure that all populations are reached, helps to ensure that employees have a knowledge of what’s available—even if only tangentially—to ensure that they are able to utilize and take advantage of their benefits as needed.
Additionally, communicating benefits—and the value they provide—helps with retention, morale, and employee health.
Both of the above items are also true for the Carrum solution. It not only expands employee choices and ensures access to quality providers, but also eliminates financial uncertainty as they go through a stressful surgery process. If we don’t effectively communicate about benefits to employees, and they don’t know what’s available for their use, everyone loses.
6. When you reflect on the past 10 years, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m very proud of the work we are doing at Carrum Health: driving the adoption of a model that brings common sense to our current messy health care systems while also being a win-win for employers and their employees. At scale, Carrum will be able to not only help employers rein in their health expenses, but also help employees both emotionally and financially in their moment of need.
7. What has been the most significant change in employee benefits during the last 10 years?
There have been plenty of changes in the last decade. Cost shifting to employees, health care reform, and the introduction of exchanges are just a few examples. However, one thing has remained constant and that is the ever-increasing cost of employee benefits. For a vast majority of employers, the cost of employee benefits has outpaced most other expense categories, making it a top priority for CFOs. So, most employers are paying close attention to making the most of their benefits dollars.
8. What are you excited about right now?
As benefits costs continue to rise, an increasing number of employers are willing to try new, innovative solutions to make the most of their benefits dollars.
9. What are you concerned about right now?
Health care, while a traditional industry, always shifts and adjusts. There has been, and will continue to be, a consolidation of players that impact employer choices, costs, and outcomes.
Additionally, the new White House administration will likely introduce changes either by fixing or repealing the ACA. Depending on what aspects of health care reform will remain in play, as well as what new changes are brought into the fold, many new challenges or opportunities could be added to the mix.
10. What do you want to see happen in the next 10 years?
Employers lead the way to show how a free-market economy can find a solution to the problem of growing health expenses. This has the potential to become a model and an export to other emerging economies.
About Benz Communications
We are a communications and marketing agency that is solely, purposefully, and passionately focused on employee benefits. Our proven approach combines the science of behavioral economics with the best of communications strategy and design. Since 2006, we have served leading employers and benefits providers, including many Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. As a thought leader in the benefits industry, we invest in research and resources to help companies educate employees about health, financial, and other benefits. Learn more at www.benzcommunications.com. Follow us on Twitter @BenzComm and Facebook.