Paving a New Path
July 7, 2021

Do you ever wonder why some college campuses have curved, oddly placed, or diagonally paved paths?

I once heard from a university executive that this particular university does not decide where all walking paths will run before opening a new section of campus. Rather, when they have a new section of space, they put sidewalk around the perimeter and grass in the middle. They open that part of campus to pedestrians. Then, they wait. 

The traffic of pedestrians wears down the path that most people take. Eventually, the university installs sidewalk where those user defined paths are created. The university has found this process to be the most efficient way to install accessible walkways for users.

In many aspects of building a strategy, there's 3 possible approaches:
1) don't have a plan and leave the choices completely open-ended
2) develop a framework for users to get started, evaluate how they consume the process, then build out based on use
3) attempt to anticipate most if not all of user activity in advance

In employer health plan implementation, most decision makers inadvertently opt for #1 or #3. Option #2 provides the framework to bring users (in the case of benefits, employees) and start them down the path. The structure then can be built out based on observable, and actual use. Claims can be monitored, common levels of care identified, and utilization of services (diagnostics, treatment)/products (prescriptions) tracked and priced. From there, additional structure can be seamlessly placed under the feet of where the user already is.

Why is this more efficient?
1) less backtracking
2) less over-commitment of resources up front
3) identifies waste that can be targeted and reduced/eliminated
4) can pivot quickly based on use over time, maximum flexibilty
5) core framework provides foundation

People-Centric Plan Design provides the framework to develop a long term benefits strategy that identifies and targets areas of waste. The framework allows for the starting point to build from in a way that is most supportive of the needs of the employee while optimizing the investment by the employer.

Topics: Employee Benefits leadership
Eric Hannah

Written by Eric Hannah

Eric is an employee benefits advisor at Olivier VanDyk Insurance and a catalyst for change. Through a multi-faceted, two-decade healthcare career, he developed a unique perspective on personal well-being, healthcare navigation and insurance systems. This experience inspired Eric to introduce an innovative approach to employee benefits – putting employers and employees in charge of their own care and spend. Eric believes that employee benefits should be a tool to achieve the optimal employee experience. Today, he helps forward-thinking business leaders develop strategies that create value.