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Explained: Premier Consultant Panel and Premier Consultant Cashback

Published: 08/09/2021

Insights Hub caught up with Andrew Scott, Chief R&D and Strategy Officer for Vitality, about the science behind the recently launched Premier Consultant Panel and the rationale behind its new Premier Consultant Cashback benefit.

Vitality unveiled its Premier Consultant Panel and Premier Consultant Cashback as part of a series of enhancements to its proposition in June this year. Alongside a revamped Care Hub offering, as well as improved cover options, the string of changes brought with it a step-change in the way private medical insurance (PMI) is being delivered through intermediaries via a member-driven approach which has ill-health prevention at its foundational core. It also initiated the next evolution of Vitality’s unique Shared Value approach to health insurance.

How does this work? Vitality Premier Consultants are part of a specially designated panel that demonstrates performance outcomes, giving your clients additional information to choose a consultant that’s right for them. To encourage members to make decisions which are more likely to result in a better health outcome, Premier Consultant Cashback – available to members on hospital list options - is a new benefit for clients who opt to see a Premier Consultant. The cashback – of between £20 and £50 depending on their Vitality status – helps ensure members receive a tangible financial benefit as well as reassurance that they are seeing a consultant who is part of a panel which provides superior performance levels across four key metrics.

These are reflective of higher quality and efficiency1, so Premier Consultant Panel demonstrates superior performance at an aggregate level compared to other private consultants. On average, the panel has 20% shorter length of stay, 35% lower admissions and 23% fewer changes of consultant than those who are not categorised as Premier. This is all delivered while also achieving lower total generated spend than other private consultants.

Graph showing the four key metrics Source: Health claims between October 2019 and September 2020 based on previous performance

To find out more about the methodology supporting Premier Consultant Panel, we caught up with Andrew Scott, Chief R&D and Strategy Officer for Vitality, who explained the rationale behind the new venture as well as the corresponding benefits of Premier Consultant Cashback.

Why has Vitality launched Premier Consultant Panel and how was it created?

“We believe the quality of consultant care is fundamental to intermediaries and their clients. With this in mind, by using the right data and health analytic tools, it is possible for insurers to measure and communicate performance outcomes in a meaningful way."

“This is why we set about systematically evaluating all recognised consultants using an algorithm that considers data across treatment outcomes, clinical practice and efficiency measures from both the consultant’s private and NHS practice. Consultants who perform highly on this evaluation have been invited to become a Vitality Premier Consultant. On Consultant Select – our next generation directional care option – Premier Consultants are prioritised when we provide a choice of consultants to members, either through the Vitality Care Hub or our Member Care team.”

What are its benefits for advisers and their clients?

“By helping to provide extra value and improve health outcomes for clients, this approach has many benefits for intermediaries. Patients treated by Premier Consultants are shown, on average, to spend less time in hospital and also suffer fewer complications that require them to be re-admitted to hospital. They are also likely to experience fewer changes in consultant. This not only helps to ensure that advisers retain more satisfied clients, it can provide them with greater confidence when recommending Vitality, armed with the knowledge that we are managing quality and efficiency in a responsible way. To give us, as well as our intermediaries and members, assurance that this methodology for calculating performance outcomes is robust, it has been peer reviewed by Milliman, one of the largest providers of health actuarial services.”

“Milliman, one of the largest providers of health actuarial services, has reviewed VitalityHealth’s approach to measuring the performance of Premier Consultants relative to non-premier consultants, and concluded that VitalityHealth’s methodology is reasonable and likely to generate credible results at aggregate level*.”

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Why has Vitality launched Premier Consultant Cashback, what is it and how does it benefit your members?

“To share the value generated through our new Premier Consultant Panel, we are giving your clients on our hospital list options cashback when they see a Premier Consultant. Platinum members will receive £50, Gold members get £40, while Silver and Bronze members get £30 and £20 respectively. This means that not only do they benefit financially for opting for a Premier Consultant, they are receiving better quality consultant care, based on superior performance measures, and this is more likely to result in a better health outcome for them. This approach is good for the member, us an insurer and for society as a whole as it can help to reduce long-term health risk. That’s why we called it Shared Value health insurance – as it’s a win, win, win for all involved.”

Find out more about how we can help deliver superior performance outcomes for your clients.

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*Milliman’s conclusions have been reached with the following caveats:
• Milliman did not audit the performance metric calculations and did not conduct an independent analysis to evaluate the methodology VitalityHealth used to identify its Premier Consultants.
• Milliman does not guarantee that any specific metrics are optimal for measuring the relative performance of Premier vs non-premier consultants, but acknowledges that length of stay, readmission rates and total episode cost are commonly used as quality and efficiency metrics.
• Milliman was engaged by Vitality to perform this review of its own analysis, and Milliman relied on Vitality’s data and presented results.

Sources:
1. NHS England, Reducing length of stay: https://www.england.nhs.uk/urgent-emergency-care/reducing-length-of-stay/
NCQA, Plan all-cause readmissions (PCR): https://www.ncqa.org/hedis/measures/plan-all-cause-readmissions/
ACTS, Supports the Quadruple Aim: https://digital.ahrq.gov/acts/quadruple-aim