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By Members, For Members

Times change, but in 40 years, community is a consistent value that drives results.

Forty years ago, Health Action Council (HAC) was created by members for members. While the healthcare environment has evolved, the regulatory landscape has grown more complex, and the benefits marketplace is ever-changing, our work at HAC has always centered on quality, transparency, education, and cost mitigation.

HAC is a safe space for members across the country to share ideas and concerns. It’s an understanding community of professionals who support each other. At HAC, members have a strong voice and impact.

We boldly embrace change, sustain our core values, and harness the growing vault of healthcare data that is helping members inform strategic decisions. We look forward to the next 40 years and beyond as an opportunity to continue this good work.

How has belonging to the HAC community helped you achieve success, create meaningful benefits and wellness programs, or link to valuable resources? We asked these questions, reflecting on our past 40 years, and here’s what you had to say.

Negotiating Savings & Accessing Expertise

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) is a proud, longstanding HAC member and has witnessed its evolution as an organization along with healthcare industry changes like advancements in technology, a shifting regulatory landscape, and different patient expectations.

“HAC has played an instrumental role in negotiating group pricing arrangements for member organizations, specifically our PBM arrangement with CVS Caremark,” says Tanja M. Foster, Director, Total Rewards. “This has enabled Tri-C to realize substantial savings over the 20-year partnership.”

Foster echoes the value of our community health reports. “Those have empowered us to make informed decisions regarding employee benefits, healthcare policies, and preventive measures,” she says. “This collaboration has allowed Tri-C to tap into a pool of expertise and best practices, enhancing the effectiveness of our health-related initiatives.”

Advocacy & Equity

Doug Reys from Franklin International shares an experience with a PBM contract dispute. “They claimed they were not refusing to pay, but it had been over a year waiting for a resolution,” says the manager of compensation and benefits. “After contacting my HAC rep, the ball got rolling and even though it took several months, eventually I got over $50,000 back that I had not been able to get on my own.”

Also, Reys values HAC’s pharmacy quality and cost audits. “That was not something I could accomplish on my own or at an affordable price,” he relates, adding, “Our relationship with HAC has been a success from the beginning.”

Addressing Disparities & Exchanging Ideas

“It has been refreshing to see how HAC has evolved over the years,” shares Nichole Bowman-Glover, Ph.D., wellbeing benefits analyst, Columbus State Community College (CSCC). She cites membership expansion in many employer groups, along with the diversity of groups and individuals. “This supports HAC’s strong commitment to community. We can’t impact wellbeing without examining systemic issues that threaten communities.

To this point, Dr. Bowman-Glover points to HAC’s social determinants of health data and reports that highlight often overlooked disparities. “I’m excited to see more emphasis on health disparities, inequities and behavioral health topics,” she says. “We have to stay relevant so we can be effective in our programming.”

Staying relevant is possible when there’s a dedicated network of members — a sounding board, a partnership. “Social connection is a valuable part of all this, which is why the annual conferences are amazing,” Dr. Bowman-Glover relates. “There is always such a wealth of information shared between employers, providers, and other members.”

She adds, “The opportunity to exchange ideas with innovative health and wellness leaders has been monumental. I have learned a great deal from HAC activities.”

Connectivity & Engagement

The National In-VALUE-ABLE Conference & Expo is circled on the calendar at the City of Columbus, and the city’s employee wellness coordinator calls HAC and its resources “a constant watering hole where I can gather with colleagues and lean on them for expertise and feedback.

Brandon Kimbro adds, “You know you can get in on high-quality professional education and CEUs, along with a chance to talk to colleagues. And you know the quality of the programs because of the important people who take time out of their days to participate.”

Overall, Kimbro says of HAC: “We trust their judgment. We trust their insight.”

Excellence in Education—Proactive Insights & Advice

Health Action Council is an objective source of information on employee benefits and benefit design. Across the country, members and vendors turn to us for forward-thinking research. North America’s largest flat-rolled steel company calls HAC a “consistent source of timely, leading edge and highly valuable strategic benefit thinking. Becoming a member has enhanced my ability to serve my company.”

Members continue to provide feedback like “provides information in a just-in-time manner.” HAC supports businesses large and small, across industry sectors, public and private, corporate and entrepreneurial. “We’re small, but HAC makes us feel big,” says one member. Another multi-location, national member relies on HAC for valuable reports that inform benefit design and wellness. “I count on HAC to do my research for me, and HAC’s research on issues like Social Determinants of Health keeps me challenged.”

“You see the total healthcare landscape,” says a national employer.

“Your national presence and local understanding is compelling.”

Looking ahead, we will continue to be the trusted source of truth in an evolving, complex employee benefits environment. With an ever-deepening impact, our mission to serve members is a mainstay.

About Health Action Council 
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid-and large-size employers that enhance human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services, and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders – health plans, physicians, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry – to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Patty Starr bio image

About the author

Patty Starr

Patty Starr is president and CEO of Health Action Council and is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the organization--build stronger, healthier communities where business can thrive. 

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