Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Progress on Health Savings Initiative - Including First Significant Structural Changes to City's Health Plans in Decades

February 26, 2016

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today a new, unprecedented agreement with the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) that will result in the first significant changes to the City’s employee health plans in over 30 years, marking major progress toward the City and MLC’s commitment to $3.4 billion in guaranteed health care savings through FY2018 and $1.3 billion recurring every year after.  Working collaboratively with the City’s workforce, the administration undertook a data-driven approach to understanding and improving the employee health care system – resulting in significant, long sought-after changes that will benefit employee health and taxpayers alike.

When Wellness Programs Don't Work - Human Resource Executive Online

January 4, 2016

“Employers are always talking about ‘meeting employees where they are,’ ” says Jeannette Fuente, director of programming, New Jersey, at the Northeast Business Group on Health,

With respect to wellness, “that points to looking at your data in a way that informs what you offer, and helps you segment some of your population and figure out where they are in terms of their health,” she says. “Data can be used to understand employees’ health status, and to support evidence-based program planning by identifying health risks throughout the employee population,” says Fuente.

Employers and HR, for example, can identify conditions that have the greatest impact on health costs and productivity, she continues.

“This data can be used to inform benefit design decisions that support targeted and customized programs for employees,” adds Fuente, noting that some employers stratify their population as “risk,” “moderate risk” and “high risk” and customize wellness offerings accordingly.

“This can be a good start for employers, and can provide a baseline to measure programs against.”

Coping with Cancer - Human Resource Executive Online

November 16, 2015

“For people who have cancer, continuing to work makes them feel like they are normal, life is normal, and this is just something they are dealing with on the side,” says Laurel Pickering, president and CEO of the Northeast Business Group on Health in New York. “It’s really helpful because it helps them feel like their diagnosis is not as disruptive and tragic as it could be.”

Press Release

NEBGH Honors Three Hospitals for Patient Safety and Quality Improvements

November 12, 2015

The awards were presented at NEBGH’s second annual Leapfrog Hospital Awards Breakfast: Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center and Harlem Hospital Center each received the Excellence in Patient Safety and Quality Award; Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut received the Greatest Leaps in Patient Safety and Quality Award.

The awards were based on a combination of factors including the hospitals’ Leapfrog survey results and Safety Score. This information is publicly reported at

“I commend these hospitals for their deep commitment to transparency, and for ensuring high-quality, safe care for their patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We are proud to stand with the Northeast Business Group on Health as a key advocate for transparency in the New York metro area and Connecticut, and urge all hospitals to match these top performers in their pursuit of radical quality improvement and value-driven care.”

Easing workplace depression - Crain's Benefits Outlook

November 8, 2015

The Northeast Business Group on Health began looking at depression care several years ago, spurred by high rates of antidepressant prescription claims paid by employers and low rates of depression reported by health plans. In 2012, the group launched One Voice, a plan to integrate behavioral health into primary care.

The initiative was modeled after a collaborative approach made popular in markets such as Minnesota, where large group practices and regional nonprofit health plans dominate.

But in New York, where small physician practices and for-profit health plans are common, paying for behavioral health services in primary-care settings, was “very challenging,” said Laurel Pickering, the health coalition’s president and CEO.

Though the initiative didn’t pan out as planned, it lives on as part of a statewide primary care transformation project, Ms. Pickering said.

Meanwhile, NEBGH is working to raise CEO awareness of depression in the workplace, while some of its member companies are focusing on employee education and access to care.