Paul Seegert: Russian Intelligence Analyst To Healthcare Change Agent

After serving in the US Military as a Russian Intelligence Analyst, Paul Seegert left to pursue a career that would be more favorable to having a family some fifteen years ago. He found himself working for a large national insurer and it did not take long for him to see that insurers had a business model that was incredibly good for them and not as good for their customers.

Paul spent the next 5 years of his career working to affect change from the inside until he realized that things were getting consistently worse for employers and employees. In fact, during that time, deductibles on a typical health plan had increased 87%, premiums had gone up even more than that and the average stock price of the few remaining national health insurers had increased by 2-3,000 %.

It had become apparent that the political will was simply not there to fix what was broken with the American healthcare system – regardless of the party in power at any given time. As a result, Paul decided to leave the security of his corporate management position to address what he saw as the biggest problem with healthcare in the US – a systemic lack of transparency.

Over the last 10 years and more than 2,000 employers later, Paul has been working directly with CFO’s and their teams to fix the problem one employer at a time. In his view, employers are the only player in the system with the incentive to make the changes necessary to fix healthcare. And there is a reason for optimism. There are pockets of employers all around the country who have succeeded in demanding transparency from the vendors and the supply chain that delivers healthcare to their employees and their families.

While the rest of the market is subject to costs that are topping $15,000 per employee per year with progressively less coverage, top-quartile employers are providing richer benefits at costs that are half of the national average.

What exactly is delivering such dramatically different results? Paul and his team are simply providing CFO’s access to the information that allows them to manage this area of their business like they do all the other areas of their business. You cannot manage what you can’t see.

While the political discussion around healthcare is primarily regarding expanding access to coverage, Paul and his team primarily focus on the actual cost of accessing healthcare. It is their contention that the power of the American consumer will play a big role in fixing what is broken with the way we pay for healthcare if we provide transparency.

According to Paul, “The recent (1.1.21) transparency rule that required hospitals to publish their pricing for 300 common procedures shows just how off track we are – the average hospital has more than 150 prices for every procedure they perform. Imagine what would happen if consumers had access to this information for all their healthcare needs and they were able to consume it just like they do everything else. We would see quality go up and costs go down just like exists in the parts of our system that are outside of insurance (i.e. Lasik, cosmetic procedures, etc.)”

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