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Melissa Gifford

By: Melissa Gifford on February 18th, 2021

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Executive Health for Benefits Brokers: 6 Questions to Ask Your Client

Concierge Medicine | Executive Health

Let’s run through a scenario. You’re a benefits broker. Your phone rings. Or maybe it’s an email. It’s your client, perhaps the CEO of a small business or an HR Director at a small to mid-size employer. They want your advice.

“We’re interested in possibly adding an executive health program to our benefits package,” they say. “What is your advice?”

You get questions like this frequently from your clients, whether it’s about executive health or 401(k)s or health insurance programs. Now’s your time to shine. But to provide the best recommendation for your client, you need to know more about what they, the client, are looking for and why they are asking.

So you respond. “Let me ask you a few questions.”

What questions should you ask your clients asking about executive health programs? Here are six.manager-auditing-valuebased-health-care-picture-id1006625398

1. What is your objective?

There are many different options out there for executive health, including types of healthcare provider, size of providers, differences in what they services they provide, and how much they cost.

While they may all call themselves executive health providers, understanding your client’s need and/or goal in even researching executive health will immediately help you narrow down the field of contending providers and services, and help quickly guide your helpful response.

  • Are they genuinely concerned about the health of their most critical leaders and looking to improve business continuity and lower key person risk?
  • Are they looking for a benefit that improves retention?
  • Are they looking to boost productivity by improving access to better care?
  • Are they self-insured and looking to lower claims cost long-term?
  • Are they just looking to add a perk as a top employer of choice?
  • Are they really only focused on executives or are they ideally looking at a broader group of high performers and rising stars?

These are all valid objectives for companies. Figuring that out first will help guide the rest of the process.

2. What is your budget?

Get this one out of the way early. It’s business after all, and the bottom line drives a lot of decisions and saves everyone involved a lot of time.

You need to know approximately how much they are willing to spend per year. The cost of an executive physical alone can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per year, but sometimes can stretch as high as $10,000.

You’ll also want to understand how rigid their number is. Is that absolutely the maximum? Or is there a little wiggle room depending on your recommendations?

Understanding how much your clients want their executive health program to cost is the first step in narrowing down the executive health options you might recommend. How much your client is willing to spend may be a limiting factor, but it may not be the deciding factor, so you’ll want to continue.

3. How many employees do you want to participate?

Are they just looking to enroll their CEO in the program? Do they want to include the whole C-Suite?

Might they consider the full executive leadership team and key employees like top salespeople, rising stars, and others with indispensable skillsets who are hard to backfill should they leave?

Do they feel like they need to offer something to every employee? Since executive health can be a discriminatory benefit, unlike health insurance plans, this answer can vary by company.

First, this will obviously affect the cost of the program. But this will also determine how customizable the program needs to be.

Perhaps they want to require the most comprehensive annual executive physical exams for their C-Suite, while making a slightly less comprehensive physical optional for directors and other key personnel. They might also want to include ongoing continuation of care for some higher-level tiers while not offering that to lower-level tiers of employees.

If that’s the case, you’ll be looking for an executive health provider that can provide that level of specificity. In that situation, you’ll probably be looking for a concierge medicine practice that provides executive physicals, as major hospitals handle such volume that their ability to manage that level of detail is limited.

Learn more about the differences between hospitals and concierge medicine providers for executive health here.

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4. What kind of experience will your employees appreciate?

Any executive health program is only effective if the employees use it. It’s important to ask your client about what they believe their employees will appreciate in terms of a patient experience.

Will they value the prestige offered by an executive physical from the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic? Or will they dislike the travel and multi-day hotel stays and the atmosphere of a mega-hospital that does thousands of physicals per year?

Or would they prefer a smaller, more intimate VIP experience? Is the most important thing that they don’t have to travel far or long for it? Might they want to take the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with a doctor, likely closer to home, so that they can continue their care with the same physician they see the day of their physical?

The answer to this question will reveal if a mega-hospital like the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic should even be on the table. And help guide your conversations with executive health providers when the time comes.

5. What are you looking for from executive physicals?

Executive physicals are the cornerstone of any executive health program. Once you get past the cost and how many employees they want to include and what kind of patient experience they’re looking for, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty details of the program. And that starts with the executive physicals.

What health issues are they most concerned about with their eligible group? Are they looking to just get the usual advanced tests done every year or are they looking for more flexibility from each year’s physical?

How much time do you want your employees to spend at their physical? Most executive physicals last either a half day or a full day. If they want to investigate the physicals at the Mayo Clinic or the Cleveland Clinic, are they also willing for their employees to be out of the office an extra day or two for travel?

You’re likely to find more standard physical options and experiences at mega-hospitals, who rely on efficiency to churn through thousands of physicals for you, than at smaller, boutique concierge practices, who can make sure each employee is getting the right tests done every year unique to their individual health needs including family and personal medical history.

Not only will this make sure the client’s employees are getting the health information they need, but it will make sure the money they are investing isn’t being wasted on the same tests year after year.

Read: 3 Things Benefits Brokers Should Know About Executive Physicals

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6. Are you interested in ongoing continuation of care with the concierge primary care physician?

Some companies, when they first become interested in executive health, are really just looking for an executive physical program. They want to send their top employees to a comprehensive, cutting-edge annual physical each year to try to figure out if they are at risk for a heart attack or developing some other major health condition.

But, as we’ve learned with COVID-19, one of the most appealing aspects of an executive health program is the prospect of guaranteeing top-notch, accessible, 24/7 concierge primary care for their most important employees.

By adding concierge care in addition to the executive physical, your client can not only help their employees learn about health risks before symptoms occur, but also give them the tools to actually improve their health (and keep their productivity high) throughout the year.

Executive Health at PartnerMD

As a boutique concierge medicine provider, we’ve provided executive health services to companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500, publicly-held, self-insured corporations to small, family-owned, fully-insured businesses, since 2003. We serve clients from seven offices in Baltimore, MD; McLean, VA; Richmond, VA; Midlothian, VA; Short Pump, VA; Greenville, SC; and Atlanta, GA.

Some of our corporate clients choose to offer only executive physicals. With more than 30 customization options and three different levels, we offer the most customizable advanced physicals on the market to meet the needs of not only each individual, but each company.

In addition to an extended examination and consultation with a PartnerMD physician, other features our executive physicals include:

  • Advanced labs, lipid panel, inflammation markers, and genetic testing from Cleveland HeartLab
  • Advanced imaging including a CT Heart Scan to know your exact calcium score and vascular views of your three major arteries
  • Assessments of cognitive function and emotional health particularly under stress and conflict
  • Multiple specialty consultations with physical therapists, dietitians and certified health coaches

Other companies choose to elevate their benefits with a broader executive health program featuring concierge medicine memberships. In this scenario, a company’s top talent also receives access to their personal concierge doctor and health coach throughout the year.

Want to know more? We’re happy to talk with you about executive physicals and executive health, both generally and specifically at PartnerMD. Learn more on our website and fill out one of the forms at the bottom of the page if you have any questions.