“EP182: Roadmap to Employer Innovation, With Renya Spak, MPH, Partner at Mercer’s Center for Health Innovation”
by Stacey Richter

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As a broad stroke, employers in every geography in the United States are rewriting the rules of health care, and expanding their influence to be commiserate with their purchasing power. And by the way, their purchasing power is enormous when taken in the aggregate. Everyone in the health care industry would be well served to know the what and how behind how employers are rewriting health care.

Renya Spak is on the show today. She leads the health innovation center at Mercer, a world leader globally in the health and benefits marketplace.

Renya is a Partner in the New York City office of Mercer Health & Benefits and leads the Center for Health Innovation (CHI). CHI is a national team, which includes Mercer LABS, focused on driving market change via collaboration with our clients, our colleagues, and thought leaders across the ecosystem to generate unbiased solutions that translate health innovations into relevant and actionable opportunities for employers. In addition, Renya continues to actively participate and lead consulting engagements that focus on strategic planning, population health management, and health innovation.

Prior to joining CHI, Renya served as the Total Health Management Practice Leader for the Central Market where she focused on creating health management and well-being strategies for multinational employers. She led efforts focused on designing high performing care management programs, assessing next generation advocacy models, and developing new approaches to drive optimized health engagement through digital solutions. These projects resulted in industry-leading health outcomes—and more importantly—supported her client’s broader workforce goals like optimizing productivity and retaining talent. This work spanned many industries including pharma, manufacturing, technology, and academia.

Renya graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

00:00 The new rules of “Health 2.0.”
02:20 How employers are really driving the new changes in health care.
03:45 “The influence of employers is not commensurate with their purchasing power.”
05:50 “This market has not, and cannot, operate in rational ways.”
08:30 “Innovation and disruption have an underbelly that means sometimes breaking the rules.”
09:30 “Sometimes discipline and innovation don’t show up in the same sentences.”
11:20 The process to create a process.
12:15 Anchoring a strategy to an organization’s cost driver.
15:30 The importance of group sharing.
19:30 Adding in “crowdsource insights.”
25:20 How population health management might transition in the future.
27:40 Major trends in employers and innovation.
31:20 How employers can explore their options among innovative solutions.
33:50 Understanding the data and setting a strategy.
34:30 “It’s never just about choosing the right vendor for innovation.”
35:35 How Renya sees the health care roadmap to the year 2020.
38:40 You can learn more at mercer.com.

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