Tracy Watts

Senior Partner

Mercer

Tracy Watts is a Senior Partner and US Leader for Healthcare Policy at Mercer. She advises large employers on their health benefit strategies for active and retired employees. In 2018, Tracy was named a “Top 25 Consultant” for excellence in healthcare by Consulting® Magazine.  She’s widely quoted as a spokesperson for Mercer's survey of employer sponsored health benefit plans, serves on the Executive Committee of the American Benefits Council, frequently represents employer interests to policymakers in Washington DC, and is a lead contributor on the ushealthnews.mercer.com blog.

Speaker Questionnaire
What is the biggest thing you learned in 2020?

What do you feel are the two most important benefits or areas that need to be a top priority in 2021?

Mental health, substance abuse, and health inequities.

Can you share a story on an area of your healthcare program or employee benefits where you were able to create significant savings or stop costs from rising?

A collaborative effort with a group of employers where their advocacy model has (a) delivered cost savings (b) moved members in a high-risk category to moderate or low risk and (c) employee out of pocket expense dropped - not because people did not get care - because they obtained high quality, cost-effective care.

If you could automatically receive a 10-20% reduction in costs in three areas/programs, what would your dream list be?

Rx (especially specialty Rx), high-cost claims, and services that previously were "stand-alone" and now billed as hospital outpatient services because of change in ownership. And since it is a dream list, can we eliminate low-value care, too?

What is the most innovative program you will focus on in 2021 and/or 2022?

Payment reform -- much needed as we see more digital tools and virtual care models emerging. Also, consumer education and training to maximize the use of cost transparency tools (that include quality), to drive smart decisions and optimal outcomes.

How are you re-imagining corporate culture & well-being?

With empathy and authenticity. All benefits and programs should be re-evaluated to assess impact, value, and relevance to the workforce. Diversity, equality, and inclusion will be a cornerstone to everything we do.

What virtual care solutions did you roll out during the pandemic? How valuable were they and why?

Virtual care via telemedicine was the star of the show when the pandemic hit. Going forward, paying the full price of an office visit for a phone call with your doctor is not a sustainable delivery model. The problem is that low-cost services don't work in a fee-for-service environment especially if it costs more to document and bill the service than it costs to provide it. Payment reform is necessary for traditional medicine to effectively leverage modern technology and provide more effective and efficient care.

If you look at our 3 Moonshots - Costs, Culture, and Care; In one sentence, tell us what would be something positive for us to take from 2020 and bring into this new year?

Let's work to drive value for all employees. bridge the “say/do” gap and take action to support diversity, health equity, and inclusion, including with respect to benefits by using data and active listening to understand employees’ needs and preferences and using that information to ensure that benefits support the diverse needs of your employees

Past Sponsors

1 Conference. 3 Moonshots.

Costs

Moonshot #1​

Reduce employer healthcare and benefits costs by 25% by 2025.​

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Culture

Moonshot #2​

Reimagine engagement and well-being.

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Care

Moonshot #3

Provide 40% of healthcare services virtually and through technology by 2025.​

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