Unprecedented Customer Engagement
Episode 450

Michael Hilton, Chief Product Officer at Accolade

Unprecedented Customer Engagement

Find out how Accolade improved the experience, outcomes, and cost of healthcare for employers, health plans and their members, and how it can do the same for you.

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Unprecedented Customer Engagement

Episode 450

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Company Website:

Accolade

Unprecedented Customer Engagement with Michael Hilton, Chief Product Officer at Accolade transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Unprecedented Customer Engagement with Michael Hilton, Chief Product Officer at Accolade was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Saul Marquez:
We are live at HLTH in Las Vegas. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Mike Hilton. Mike is the Chief Product Officer at Accolade and they’re doing some outstanding work. Mike, it’s such a privilege to have you here with us.

Mike Hilton:
Really great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. So what do you think of the conference so far?

Mike Hilton:
That’s been good. You know, I was here last year. It’s only the second year of the conference. It’s more than doubled in size. The feedback I’ve heard is attendees love the buzz here and excited about who’s exhibiting. I think it’s on a really positive trajectory. So I feel like the industry has kind of embraced it just two years on.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I totally agree. And I wasn’t here last year. But man, this year I’ve been very impressed. For you guys, you know, you guys are focused on the employee benefits space, for the people that aren’t aware with what you guys do, you mind giving us a quick refund on that?

Mike Hilton:
Sure. Yeah well Accolade’s in this space that’s called advocacy. So basically, we sell to self-insured employers and we serve all of their employees and their families. And we’re trying to solve the fundamental problem that health care is just really, really hard to understand and navigate and use for your average consumer in the United States. And we basically give every family a person. So it’s a human centered service and that person is there for all your health and benefits needs. And so whether it’s the simple things like I need a new I.D. card or I have a simple benefits question or I have a question about a bill, we’re gonna be there to answer those for you. And when you get into the more complex problems like you’re consuming care, we can bring in nurses. We have a very large staff of nurses. We have specialists that can come in and help. And we’re basically there for the whole journey, no matter how simple or complex your problem is. And so our value proposition is for consumers. We really give you a delightful healthcare experience, which people aren’t used to. We are going to solve your problems. We are going to get you to the right care faster and stop avoiding the wrong care and ultimately make you and your family healthier. And for the employers, not only are we delighting your employees and their families, we’re ultimately improving your financial outcomes. So we’re driving the cost curve down dramatically. And that’s what pays for Accolade. That’s really the value proposition we have.

Saul Marquez:
I think it’s brilliant. And you know, in today’s world where it is so hard to navigate, the concept of assigning a person is very interesting. I don’t know that I’ve heard that in anything other than maybe finance. You know, you go to your wealth manager to take care of your money. You know, that same person is doing that thing. Well, where did this idea come from?

Mike Hilton:
Yeah.That’s a great question. And it’s a good analogy in finance, by the way, that’s I give a trusted adviser.

Saul Marquez:
Yes.

Mike Hilton:
It’s very much the Accolade model. The idea came over a decade ago. And the founding team, I’ve been at Accolade for four years, but the founding team was really amazing. And the founding investor, they really wanted to try a different approach to the problem. And I really give them so much credit. They came up with a model that had never been tried before, the one I just described. And they went and found an employer or first customer and took an entirely at risk approach with this idea that we’re gonna go to a big part of your population, we’re going to try this service for an extended period of time. We’re going to measure the effect. And if we save money, you’ll get you’ll pass. And if we don’t save you money, you’re not going to pass entirely at risk. Huge bet.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. Huge bet.

Mike Hilton:
And turns out that the model worked incredibly well. They saved a bunch of money and the company was kind of often running. So it was really kind of the brainchild of a small group of people and who had the courage to go try it with the customer. And had success with it.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. And I also want to congratulate you on the recent partnership that you’ve made with… is it…

Mike Hilton:
Humana.

Saul Marquez:
Humana right?

Mike Hilton:
Yeah, we’re really excited about that.

Saul Marquez:
And it was a 40 million dollar investment?

Mike Hilton:
20 million dollar.

Saul Marquez:
20 million dollar investment. And that shows the commitment of a payer to a service like yours. And I mean, traditionally, you think about a payer potentially even being threatened by something that like this. But that’s not the case. Tell me a little bit more about that and how that’s working out.

Mike Hilton:
Yeah. So it’s a relatively new partnership. We’ve had a partnership for many months and the investment just came quite recently, which we just announced. But it’s an exciting partnership. I agree with everything you just said. Humana is self-insured employer or one of the populations they serve is the ASO business or the self-insured employers. And they were really looking to differentiate, especially in a few key markets that they’re in. And they really saw Accolade as a great partner to come in and create a joint value proposition, create some differentiation in the market. And we saw it the same way. They have been a great partner to work with. We see tons of opportunity going forward that’s much broader than this. But we’ve already had some great success in the market. We’ve had some wins with customers and we are incredibly excited, not just about how we’ve had success already, but there could be much bigger opportunity jointly between the two companies going forward. So it is a planned relationship that we’re really excited about.

Saul Marquez:
That’s outstanding. Thanks for sharing that.

Mike Hilton:
Sure.

Saul Marquez:
You know, the final thing that I was really curious about and wanted you to go in deeper is to help the employers listening to this podcast today. You know, many of them may be self insured and self insuring their entire pool of employees. What do they need to know about engagement? And what do they need to know about Accolade and how you guys could help serve them?

Mike Hilton:
I appreciate you asking that question. First and foremost, I think we find employers agree with our core premise, which is in a world where the consumer is making all the decisions that matter both financially and increasingly health wise. You’ve got to have engagement to make any impact on healthcare, including cost. If you cannot influence consumer behavior, you’re really not. You’re kind of at a dead start. And so Accolade’s really, the magic that we create is we know how to drive engagement with consumers. We drive unprecedented levels of engagement with the families we serve. We’re touching them with a live interaction with a person. With 60% of the families we serve every year, that’s a really, really high engagement rate. And we think it’s the key to success. And that engagement leads us to have an ability to influence the consumer and critical decisions, particularly critical ones that are the ones that really impact outcomes, financial and health wise. And so I think that’s the most important message to send. The other thing I would say that’s a new direction for Accolade is we’ve really created an entire portfolio of offerings now. Historically, we really had kind of had one flavor to sell that was incredibly powerful with a great value, proven value proposition. What we’ve really acknowledged is that not every buyer is ready to take the full leap into full blown advocacy. And so we’ve created a portfolio of solutions. There are many buyers wherever they are on the journey and comfort level and need whether you just want to solve your benefits adoption problem, you’ve got a really amazing set of programs that you’re just struggling to drive adoption of. We can go really help with that. If you’re just looking to really help your members get to high quality care, then help them choose really smartly when they’re making care choices and then really stay with that person through the care journey with a nurse. We’ve got a solution that’s just focused on that. Or if you want to go all the way to full population health and really full advocacy, we can kind of meet you wherever you are. That’s the other really important thing I would say for employers is we’ve got a really spectrum of solutions now that will kind of meet you wherever you are.

Saul Marquez:
That’s brilliant, Mike. And again, I just want to say thank you for sharing the insightful approaches and strategies you guys are doing at Accolade. And listeners, you’re tuning in here. We’re live at HLTH. You’re getting this after the fact that an incredible event and a true privilege to be here with you, Mike. Thanks for being here.

Mike Hilton:
So grateful for the opportunity. Thank you so much.

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