News

Title
Boston inequity between white and black person
How do you Ensure Healthcare Equity in Keeping with Your Institution’s Diversity and Inclusion Goals? It Takes a Systemic Approach
Aug 24, 2021

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | August 9, 2021

Racial justice protests and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color have shone a light on the need for organizations to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). The higher education industry has taken a leading role in tackling these challenges by evaluating and implementing policies that seek to ensure that all residents – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation – have the same opportunity to thrive. Recent New England Journal of Higher Education and Higher Education Today editorials have encouraged colleges and universities to act now to eradicate disparities and promote economic vitality.

Numerous studies have shown that gender, race, and ethnicity have a marked influence on a person’s health. The systemic disparities in the health status of population groups have significant social and economic costs to people and societies. COVID-19 has exacerbated these differences in health outcomes and access to care. A 2015 Boston University of Public Health Study found a 33-year life expectancy gap between Boston’s Roxbury, a majority-minority community, and Boston’s Back Bay, a primarily white area. These communities are only 3.4 miles apart.

COVID-19 has only exacerbated these disparities and Hispanics and Blacks were the hardest hit. Life expectancy for Black residents decreased 2.1 years and 3.05 years for Hispanic residents, according to the Department of Public Health.

“The pandemic caused a perfect storm,” said Juan Lopera, inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer of Beth Israel Lahey Health. “Forty percent of Latinos work in the service industries and couldn’t work from home. They were scared to access care in part because of the policies of the previous administration. Black and brown people also have a higher prevalence of asthma and diabetes, so were at high risk for COVID-19 complications.”

Juan Lopera

Use a Systemic Approach to Achieve DE&I Objectives

How can we advance our educational institution’s DE&I objectives — especially through our employee healthcare benefit program? “To address inequities, it requires a systems approach,” said Juan Lopera. He recommends three strategies for making progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

  1. Start the conversation: Conduct active listening sessions with your employees, students, and other stakeholders to find out their experiences. This will help inform your organization’s plan.
  2. Create a governance structure: Identify who will serve on your Diversity Task Force to take the learnings from your outreach and put plans into actions.
  3. Put together a five-year plan: Identify your organization’s goals, how you will measure progress toward each goal, and which items are priorities.

Tips for Identifying and Addressing Access Gaps

One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Use a Multi-pronged Approach

Determine roadblocks for minority access to goods and services and develop innovative approaches to reach all your constituent. “There is no equity in population averages,” said Mr. Lopera. He cited rates of COVID-19 vaccinations as an example of this phenomena. “Although Massachusetts is faring well in administering the vaccines, racial minorities are well below the average.”

He suggests that employers partner with community organizations to support vaccine equity. He helped spearhead such an operation when he was Vice President of Business Diversity for the combined Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care organization (which will be known as Point32Health). Tufts and Harvard Pilgrim contracted with minority-owned businesses to bring the vaccine to the minority community in mobile vans.

Mobile van vaccine initiative

Tackle Healthcare Data Collection Needs

There’s room for improvement in gathering race and ethnicity data for commercial health payers needed to analyze health disparities, utilization, costs, and opportunities for improvement. Only 3%-4% of commercial health plan data capture this information compared with approximately 80% for Medicare and Medicaid.

If your HR system isn’t collecting this data and sending it to the health administrator, determine how you can fix it, and work around it in the short term. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” said Mr. Lopera. “There’s options to supplement what you have with predictive data based on zip code and surname.”

How is your organization supporting gender equity and identity? Many of the legacy health data systems don’t have the flexibility for gender and gender identity indications needed for optimizing service and care coordination: gender at birth; gender identity; and sexual orientation.

Address Provider Network Holes

The recent widespread adoption of telehealth brings many new opportunities especially for behavioral health and substance use disorder needs. However, research among early users shows that certain groups are underrepresented, including non-English speaking patients, and patients of Asian, Black, and Latinx descent. Preventive care visits are similarly low – and use of emergency rooms is high – for minority populations in part due to culture and language barriers with healthcare providers. Mr. Lopera recommends that healthcare purchasers work with plan administers to identify and work to close ethnic and language gaps in your provider networks.

Other Insights

  • Seek Out Diverse Vendors: Contracting with minority-owned businesses helps to address significant wealth inequalities impacting communities of color.
  • Evaluate Your Endowment Investments: Is your educational institution investing its endowment funds in keeping with your diversity, equity, and inclusion goals? Your approach to investing speaks volumes about your commitment to DE&I.
  • Improve Workforce Equity: increase rates of diversity in your workforce across all levels, particularly leadership. Commit to address racism in hiring and other policies.

Juan Lopera spoke at edHEALTH’s May 26, 2021 Thought Leadership Seminar. As Beth Israel Lahey Health’s new Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, he leads and accelerates the health system’s efforts to transform care delivery for the underserved, while establishing diversity, equity, and inclusion capabilities. Prior to this position, he was Vice President of Business Diversity for the combined Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care organization (Point32Health) and oversaw company-wide diversity efforts including health equity, multicultural customer offerings, supplier inclusion, and workforce equity and inclusion. He serves on several boards including as Vice-Chair of the Dimock Center Board, Co-Chair of The Boston Foundation’s Latino Legacy Fund, member of the State of Massachusetts COVID-19 advisory groups for health equity and vaccine communications, and member of the State's Latino Advisory Commission.

Three New edHEALTH Offerings in 2024: The Result of Thoughtful Strategic Planning

Nov 29, 2023
collage of apple with hear, piggy bank with umbrella and tootbrush and floss

In our November 2023 newsletter, you'll read about:3 new program offerings to member-owner schoolsDiabetes Awareness MonthWhat's new in the member portalOur ...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Adds Three Board Members Brandeis University, College of the Holy Cross, and Wellesley College Represented

Mar 22, 2022
Photo of 3 new board members: Marymichele Delaney, Melissa Fletcher  and Sam Solomon

(March 22, 2022) - edHEALTH announced today three new members were elected to the edHEALTH LLC Board of Managers and the edHEALTH Insurance Exchange (edHEALT...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH President and CEO to Continue as VCIA Board Chair

Oct 24, 2023
TracyHassettPhotofrom2022

This fall, our own Tracy Hassett was endorsed for and reappointed as Board Chair for The Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA) for a second term. Cont...

Continue Reading

Unstoppable Healthcare Cost Pac-Man Gobbling Up Valuable Resources - Discover 3 cutting-edge risk management levers to unlock savings

Dec 16, 2021
Unstoppable Healthcare Cost Pac-Man Gobbling Up Valuable Resources - Discover 3 cutting-edge risk management levers to unlock savings

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | December 16, 2021Unstoppable healthcare costs are eating up resources that companies and governments could better use to advance other i...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Member-Owner School Receives 2 Wellness Awards This Fall and Much More in our October Newsletter

Oct 30, 2023
edHEALTH Member-Owner School Receives 2 Wellness Awards This Fall and Much More in our October Newsletter

In our October 2023 newsletter, you'll read about:Creating inclusive employee benefits: A blueprint for diversity, equity, and inclusionedHEALTH member-owner...

Continue Reading

What is Advanced Primary Care and why is it an Important Healthcare Policy

Dec 31, 2021
Principles of Primary Care graphic by Primary Care Collaborative.

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | November 15, 2021Primary care practices, which are crucial in providing coordinated, efficient, and high-value care, were severely impac...

Continue Reading

Read our October Update with Guest Post about the Cost of Musculoskeletal Conditions, Shareable Content for Employees, and More

Oct 31, 2022
Read our October Update with Guest Post about the Cost of Musculoskeletal Conditions, Shareable Content for Employees, and More

Inside our October 2022 newsletter, you'll read about:Our November 2 virtual and free Thought Leadership Series with Human Resources leader Megan NailThe Cos...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH President and CEO featured in Global Captive Podcast

Sep 6, 2022
GCP image for interview about edHEALTH

Hear from edHEALTH President and CEO Tracy Hassett as she was interviewed with Spring Consulting’s Managing Partner Karin Landry in a recent GCP Short. In th...

Continue Reading

More on the Rx Front: The slow emergence in the U.S. of biosimilars for curbing specialty costs

Apr 27, 2022
infusion medication on IV

Last month we highlighted how both cost and utilization are increasing when it comes to prescription drugs. Much of the increase is due to the rise in specia...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Welcomes Two New Member-Owner Schools in 2024

Jan 5, 2024
fall foliage college building

edHEALTH Welcomes Two New Member-Owner Schools in 2024Now with 27 schools, including Husson University and The Lawrenceville SchoolJanuary 5, 2024 (Northbrid...

Continue Reading

Planning for Your 2023 Annual Open Enrollment: 4 Strategies to Consider for Greater Success

Sep 26, 2022
3 women talking at conference table (photo by Photo by Yan Krukov)

Photo by Yan KrukovSince the pandemic, most employers have seen significant shifts in how to manage open enrollment periods. From big fairs onsite to virtual...

Continue Reading

On the Rx Front: More breakthroughs, continued increases in prices Understanding the big picture, and how we all play a role in trying to control costs.

Mar 29, 2022
image of woman with her 7-day pill box.

Healthcare experts, employers, and consumers alike recognize the significance prescription drugs have in today’s world. Thanks to clinical innovations in the...

Continue Reading

Annual edHEALTH President Letter for Member-Owners

Jan 25, 2022
look back at 2021 and look ahead to 2022

Dear Colleagues,Strength.  Resilience.  Support.  Collaboration.  Opportunity.  Hope.  Trust.  These are just a few of the words that come to my mind as we l...

Continue Reading

Read our latest newsletter - featuring why prescription costs are on the rise and much more

Mar 30, 2022
Photo of  tablet by NordWood Themes

Learn about:The big picture when it comes to medication breakthroughs, their costs, and how we all play a role in trying to control costsedHEALTH's 3 new boa...

Continue Reading

Why Employers Must Focus on Improving Workplace Mental Health - 3 Strategies to Support Employees

Oct 20, 2021
mental_health_spelled_in_scrabble_tiles

BY CYNTHIA MCGRATH | October 21, 2021The Mental Health Crisis and Its Effects on Employees and EmployersThe pandemic has upended lives and led to increased r...

Continue Reading

edRISK and edHEALTH Welcome New Chief Financial and Operating Officer with Over 20 Years of Experience in the Captive Industry

Nov 15, 2023
photo of new edRISK CFO/COO against green trees

November 15, 2023 – edRISK and edHEALTH, a consortium of educational institutions providing greater health-care-related savings and services through group pu...

Continue Reading

Learn about our Open Position for a Health Benefits Analyst/Membership Support

Jan 4, 2024
We are hiring sign on an exterior wood door

edHEALTH helps educational institutions save money on their employee healthcare costs, facilitates collaboration between Human Resources and Finance, and unc...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH talks healthcare trends in the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts member newsletter

Apr 7, 2022
trend data report

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICU MASS) offered edHEALTH the opportunity to discuss one of the biggest trends f...

Continue Reading

Tracy Hassett Selected Vice Chair of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association

Dec 15, 2021
Captive Insurance

Educators Health Exchange President, Tracy Hassett, was selected Vice Chair by the Board of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA). VCIA is the lar...

Continue Reading

Want to learn what's new at edHEALTH? Read our February update.

Feb 28, 2023
2 female professionals, one looking to advise another

Check out edHEALTH's February 2023 newsletter, featuring: Answers to what Benefit Advisors askInsights from our Captive ManagerMember-owner calendar corner S...

Continue Reading

New Chief Financial and Operating Officer Featured in Captive Publications

Nov 17, 2023
photo of  David White, new edRISK CFO/COO against green trees

Thank you, Captive International and Captive Intelligence, for featuring David White joining edHEALTH and edRISK effective December 1, 2023. You can read the...

Continue Reading

Resources for Protecting against the Flu Season, Answers to Commonly Asked edHEALTH Finance Questions and More in our November Newsletter

Dec 2, 2022
Resources for Protecting against the Flu Season, Answers to Commonly Asked edHEALTH Finance Questions and More in our November Newsletter

Check out edHEALTH's November 2022 newsletter, which features:What you can do to inform and support employees about flu seasonAnswers to commonly asked quest...

Continue Reading

What are Biosimilars? Learn more about this emerging Rx trend and more in edHEALTH's April newsletter.

May 3, 2022
Image of tablet or mobile phone with in-box highlighted

Read about: The emergence of biosimilars for curbing specialty costsGearing up for edHEALTH's 5th annual Walking ChallengeNews and tips for spring health and...

Continue Reading

Understanding the value and costs of cell and gene therapy

Jun 30, 2022
Photo by National Cancer Institute

Understanding the value and costs of cell and gene therapyInnovation in health care is constant and is marked often by significant breakthrough treatments an...

Continue Reading

Supporting mental health awareness in the workplace should be year-round: Tips to help employers and more in our May newsletter

May 31, 2022
Mental health matters (image of ipad)

In our most recent newsletter, you'll learn:Why workplaces should support employees with mental health awareness year-roundHow telehealth continues to be an ...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH’s Tracy Hassett Named to Top 20 Captive Owner List 2023

Apr 5, 2023
edHEALTH’s Tracy Hassett Named to Top 20 Captive Owner List 2023

Congratulations to our own President and CEO A. Tracy Hassett. She is named one of Captive Review's Top 20 Captive Owners 2023. Tracy received recognition fo...

Continue Reading

edRISK Featured in Captive Intelligence

Jan 26, 2024
Captive Intelligence logo

edHEALTH and edRISK's President and CEO Tracy Hassett and Chief Financial and Operating Officer David White were recently interviewed about what's next for e...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Adds Three Board Members: Bentley University, Emerson College, KIPP Massachusetts Charter represented

Dec 12, 2022
3 New edHEALTH Board Members 12-22

(December 12, 2022) - edHEALTH announced today three new members were elected to the Educators Health LLC Board of Managers and the Educators Health Insuranc...

Continue Reading

Attend Our February 28 Thought Leadership Series: Dr. Lisa Finkelstein Talks about Ageless Talent in the Workplace

Jan 19, 2024
Dr. Lisa Finkelstein from Northern Illinois University

Highly respected professor and author Dr. Lisa Finkelstein of Northern Illinois University will be busting some pervasive myths about stigmas and generations...

Continue Reading

Discover summer safety tips to share, the value and cost of cell and gene therapy, and edHEALTH annual meeting news

Jun 30, 2022
cell and gene theapy

In our summer newsletter, you'll findAn overview of the value and cost of cell and gene therapyShare-it downloads for promoting summer safety among employees...

Continue Reading

Tips for Planning Your 2024 Annual Open Enrollment

Sep 20, 2023
team of professionals looking at print for planning

Read edHEALTH's September 2023 newsletter to discover: How to optimize success during your fall annual open enrollmentWhich school won edHEALTH's 2023 Walkin...

Continue Reading

Annual Message from edHEALTH's President and CEO Tracy Hassett

Mar 11, 2024
headshot of A. Tracy Hassett

The following year-in review message was shared with member-owners and business partners at the end of February 2024.Dear Member-Owners of edHEALTH,You all k...

Continue Reading

Point32Health Selects UnitedHealthcare as its National Network – What This Means to Tufts Health Plan and HPHC Members

Nov 10, 2021
Providers across the nation

Point32Health, the combined Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care organization, selected UnitedHealthcare as its national network provider effect...

Continue Reading

Guest Spotlight: The Intersection of Employee Wellness & Pharmacy Costs plus Industry Insights and Member-Owner Updates

May 12, 2023
Photo by Bluewater Sweden

Read our April newsletter for valuable insights and edHEALTH member-owner updates:The Intersection of Employee Wellness & Pharmacy Costs (Guest Spotlight...

Continue Reading

Rx Update on The Adoption of Biosimilars in the Marketplace and Much More in April's Update

Apr 25, 2024
Rx Update on The Adoption of Biosimilars in the Marketplace and Much More in April's Update

This April's newsletter has so much information to share, including:Overview and update on biosimilar adoptionApril member-owner Rx Symposium and other membe...

Continue Reading

Happy New Year Message from edHEALTH's President and CEO Tracy Hassett

Jan 10, 2023
edHEALTH President and CEO Tracy Hassett headshot 2022

Dear Colleagues,"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."These words, attributed to Henry Ford, founder of...

Continue Reading

edRISK and edHEALTH President and CEO in Captive Review's Top 20 2024

May 1, 2024
headdshotofATracyHassett

edHEALTH and edRISK's President and CEO Tracy Hassett was just named one of Captive Review's Top 20 captive owners for 2024. She, in particular, was commende...

Continue Reading

What do consumers think about their employer-provided health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Jul 28, 2022
Doctor with phone for telehealth call

It’s a question that America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) asked in a recent survey that the Locust Street Group completed on behalf of AHIP Coverage@Work....

Continue Reading

Spring updates that focus on mental health awareness and creating a healthier workplace

Jun 2, 2023
woman stressing on computer

Check out edHEALTH's May 2023 newsletter, featuring:   Understanding growing behavioral health needs &how to support a healthier workplaceedHEALTH featur...

Continue Reading

President and CEO Invited to Share edHEALTH Story and Captive Savings with Risk & Insurance Magazine

May 22, 2023
college campus with green quad in spring

This spring, edHEALTH President and CEO Tracy Hassett had the honor of being interviewed by Risk & Insurance magazine by Emma Brenner. The  May/June 2023...

Continue Reading

Share-it Employee Engagement Communications

Sep 22, 2023
edHEALTH employee engagement share-it communications

edHEALTH provides share-it employee engagement communications to help member school employees navigate and maximize their healthcare benefits. Members can fi...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Welcomes Its 28th New Member-Owner School, Wilbraham & Monson Academy

Jun 3, 2024
Wilbraham &  Monson Academy Logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 3, 2024Media contact: Lisa BarnsteinedHEALTHPhone: 866.692.7473, ext. 703Email: lbarnstein@edrisk.orgJune 3, 2024 (Northbridge, M...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH President & CEO Talks Advanced Medical Stop Loss at VCIA on August 11, 2022

Aug 9, 2022
Tracy Hassett speaks at VCIA on 8-11-22

Want to learn more about Captive Insurance? Join edHEALTH's President & CEO, Tracy Hassett, along with other industry leaders, talks about medical stop l...

Continue Reading

Addressing Today's Changing HR Needs: Tips from 2 Higher Education Leaders and More

Jun 30, 2023
Marymichele Delaney from the College of the Holy Cross,Kristen Jadul form Bentley University, Teri Weber from Spring Consulting Group

Check out edHEALTH's June 2023 newsletter, which highlights:   Changing Times in Human Resources: Leaders Share How They’re Building a Strong Recruitment and...

Continue Reading

What to Really Know When Working In a Multi-Generational Workplace

Mar 29, 2024
Ageless Talent book with co-writer Lisa Finkelstein

Check out our March newsletter! Inside you'll discover:Tips for your workplace from our Ageless Talent: Debunking Myths Webinar with Dr. Lisa FinkelsteinAuti...

Continue Reading

Tracy Hassett, edHEALTH's President and CEO elected as the new Board Chair

Oct 27, 2022
Tracy Hassett edHEALTH President & CEO

Great news for the Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA), as they've selected edHEALTH President & CEO to be their new Board Chair. The VCIA, one ...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH's 2022 annual report is now available to read

Jun 22, 2023
edHEALTH annual report with numbers on chalkboard and writing

In commemoration of edHEALTH's ten-year anniversary, we published our first annual report. In it, we highlight how we have saved member-owner schools more th...

Continue Reading

Rising Costs of Rx: 3 Ways to Maximize Savings Opportunities with Employees plus HR's FAQ about edHEALTH

Jan 30, 2023
pharmacist behind the counter

What you'll read about in edHEALTH's January 2023 newsletter:Rising costs of Rx: 3 ways to maximize savings opportunities with your employeesAnswers to commo...

Continue Reading

Read All That's New In our January 2024 Newsletter

Jan 22, 2024
edHEALTH January newsletter top image

In the first newsletter of 2024, you'll learn about:Our February 28 Thought Leadership SeriesWellness in the New Year: 5 Simple TipsedHEALTH's 2 New Schools ...

Continue Reading

Guest Feature on Weight Loss Medications in This Month's Newlsetter

Feb 23, 2024
Guest Feature on Weight Loss Medications in This Month's Newlsetter

Check out our February newsletter! Inside you'll read about:Upcoming Multi-Generations in the Workplace Webinar on February 28Guest Spotlight: A Unique Persp...

Continue Reading

Easy Tips for Promoting Wellness On Campus

May 28, 2024
man in woods walking with activity tracking device on wrist

In this month's newsletter, you'll discover:Tips to inspire health and wellness from an edHEALTH schoolSelf-serve health and wellness digital downloadsGearin...

Continue Reading

Better Together: edHEALTH Highlighted in Captive Insurance Times' 2024 Annual

Mar 11, 2024
Tracy Hassett feature with Captive Insurance Times

Thank you, Captive Insurance Times, for talking with edHEALTH President and CEO Tracy Hassett about how edHEALTH brings together educational institutions to ...

Continue Reading

edHEALTH Adds Chief Financial & Administrative Officer Ben Hammond from The Lawrenceville School to Board of Managers

Jun 11, 2024
CFO Ben Hammond Head Shot

edHEALTH Adds New Board Member from a Secondary School Member-OwnerBen Hammond, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer from The Lawrenceville School Jo...

Continue Reading

Listen to our President and CEO introduce new edRISK cells on the Global Captive Podcast

Jun 4, 2024
Captive Intelligence logo

Thank you, Global Captive Podcast (GCP), for inviting Tracy Hassett, President and CEO of edRISK, which includes edHEALTH, edLIABILITY, and edPROPERTY, to be...

Continue Reading
Top shadow

Contact Us

866.692.7473

Contact edHEALTH today for more information.