Brakebush Brothers (Brakebush) was presented the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions 2019 Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award by The Alliance in Washington, D.C. at the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Annual Forum.
The Alliance is a not-for-profit cooperative that moves health care forward by controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. Members include more than 250 self-funded employers and multiemployer plans in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.
The Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award is presented to the employer or purchaser that demonstrates leadership and innovation in advancing overall health and health care value through their approach to benefit programs and design, employee engagement and support of coalitions efforts. Previous award recipients include Walmart, Southwire, East Penn International and Boeing.
“The award shows that employers of all sizes, and any location, can make a positive impact in their fight against the rising costs of health care without government intervention, or the need to pass those costs on to its employees,” said Dan Ludwig, Director of Benefits and Safety at Brakebush. “It is an honor to receive recognition for doing something that we felt was just the right thing to do to provide benefits that our employees need.”
In 2014, Brakebush put together a self-funded health benefits plan (in which the employer takes on the role of the insurance company, accepting the risk, designing the benefits and network, collecting premiums, paying claims, and administering the plan) that provides high-value health care at a reasonable cost to their employees.
Among the benefits provided to employees:
- An onsite Health Center with free primary and acute care service to all employees, as well as their spouses and dependents, covered by Brakebush’s health plan
- A Centers of Excellence program to direct patients to high-value health care resources, when deemed medically appropriate
- Additional services, including a comprehensive musculoskeletal program (including onsite physical therapy), at-home sleep studies (with follow-up onsite CPAP fitting/supplies) onsite mammograms, monthly onsite visits from an orthopedic surgeon, and an international mail-order pharmacy service for high-cost medicines.
In 2018, Brakebush’s per member health benefit costs were lower than in 2014 — even after factoring the annual operating costs of the onsite clinic. This was due to targeted programs and effective employee benefit communication strategies.
“We nominated Brakebush for this award because they are a true innovator in providing the best health benefits possible for employees across all of their locations,” said Melina Kambitsi Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Marketing at The Alliance. “We are thrilled that they are being recognized, alongside major employers in the country, for having the courage to think outside of the box and do what’s right for the company and the health of their employees.”
So, what’s next for Brakebush?
“We’re currently in the process of developing the next phase,” said Ludwig. “We’ve had an incredible amount of success over the years and we know that there is even more opportunity to drive down health care cost and shed the status quo of traditional health care and benefits.”
Located in Westfield, Wisc., Brakebush processes chicken to create both stock and custom products for use by restaurants, schools, convenience stores, health care and the military. Brakebush, founded in 1925, has 2,100 employees with 1,100 in Wisconsin, plus another 1,000 employees at plants in Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas.