The benefit plan procurement process starts with determining strategy.
This involves defining the proposed plan designs, pricing models and request for proposal (RFP). Information is often pulled from several databases and, because the information is typically stored in a range of formats, additional effort is required to convert the information into a single format before moving forward.
With the traditional paper-based approach, there is little transparency during the bidding process–eliminating the potential to reduce benefits costs through competitive vendor bidding. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to gather the responses and consolidate them into a standard format for analysis. The lack of audit trail has led to compliance issues for some employers, and inhibits the ability to demonstrate visible realized savings.
DirectPath addresses procurement challenges by moving from a decentralized, paper-driven process to a centralized, automated process. Data is accessible—not “locked up” in discrete documents. Employers can generate real-time plan comparisons for labor negotiations and vendors, including private exchanges.
Automation reduces both the employers’ actual benefits costs and the administrative costs of running an RFP. Benefit costs can be lowered through competitive bidding and a “reverse auction,” in which vendors bid prices down to win business. This approach has saved our clients millions of dollars.
By running RFPs through technology, employers have side-by-side comparisons of vendor responses, plan designs and rate bids 24 hours after closure of the RFP. This eliminates the internal or consulting dollars spent trying to make sense of vendor submissions in disparate formats and enables employers to move directly to the higher-value activities of analyzing responses for strategic decisions and getting an early start on open enrollment.
Key Benefits to Working with DirectPath:
- Cuts event timeline in half, delivering side-by-side vendor response data within 24 hours of RFP closure
- Reduces cost of managing and updating RFPs and renewals
- Process builds plan data that flows through to your Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Summaries of Benefits and Coverage (SBCs) and other communications
- Collaboration between all stakeholders—vendors, employers, consultants—can work together and communicate