The Granite List Live
A TPA, a COE, and a Navigator walk into a bar…

A TPA, a COE, and a Navigator walk into a bar…

October 4, 2022

What happens when you combine a full-service TPA, centers of excellence, and navigation through those centers? The combination affords employers the highest quality care with a wraparound of some of the most efficient cost containment solutions available. In this episode Bob McCollins, Vice President of Sales for Edison Health Solutions, joins the show to talk with Leigh and Sally about Edison Health Solutions' approach to providing the best possible health care to their clients as a burgeoning third-party administrator in the industry. 

To learn more about how Edison conquers these issues in their pursuit of the best solution for the patient, listen as "Bald Guy" Bob McCollins breaks it all down.  

Want to dig deeper into the services Edison provides?  Check out Edison Health Solutions:

Patient Assistance Plans and Helping Your Employees When They Need It Most

Patient Assistance Plans and Helping Your Employees When They Need It Most

September 27, 2022

In this episode Gwen Cooper, President and CEO of Accessia Health, joins the show to talk with Leigh and Cole about their patient assistance program that benefits employers on the medical benefits side.

Accessia Health is one of six national non-profits that are patient assistance organizations. To help employers, they’ve created a model where employers can create their own employee health assistance fund, put money into the non-profit, and put money back into their employee’s hands, with criteria that the employer has set, to assist employees when it comes to their health care costs. 
To learn more about their unique program, Gwen dives into this episode to explain how it all works and the benefits it provides. 

To learn more, check out Accessia Health:

Integrated 360 Care Makes Continuity of Care Possible, and Affordable for Employers

Integrated 360 Care Makes Continuity of Care Possible, and Affordable for Employers

June 27, 2022
The employer groups see their healthcare spending continuing to increase because their employees’ use of urgent care and emergency rooms continues to increase. Leigh and Sally’s guest is Dr. Heather Towery, Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Enterprise Partnerships of Eden Health.
In this episode, Dr. Towery discusses longitudinal care and the importance of continuity of care. Eden health is an intentional virtual first primary care platform that takes care of people's longitudinal health needs but also integrates that with mental health and physical therapy and also some in-person offices where people could be seen if they need to be seen. It could be six months or eight months for somebody to get to see a psychologist. Eden Health says they can cut that time to four days. Listen to this episode and consider options to better serve your employees with a continuity of care, without having your costs spiral.
What can I do through health benefits to really retain my critical talent?

What can I do through health benefits to really retain my critical talent?

June 21, 2022
In this episode, Leigh and Sally’s guest, Cristie Upshaw Travis talks about the role of health benefits in employee recruitment and retention.  Employers need to know, “What can I do through health benefits to really retain my critical talent that I have now, and then recruit in case some of that talent decides to go elsewhere?” Cristie is really focused on trying to get employers to think about both the short-term and the long-term ways in which they can position benefits for recruitment and retention.
Employees are looking for affordable benefits. If they can't make their payroll deduction at a reasonable rate to get health insurance benefits, or they can't afford the deductible or the copays, it's really not much of a benefit for them. Employees typically focus on primary care strategies, where it’s usually just part of the package in most plans. This episode covers accountability, ratings, and what employers need to expect from their providers to best serve their current and future employees.
Listen to this episode where our guest answers this question, “If there's one question that you would add to the RFP or recommend that employers ask, what would it be?” as well as this one, “Can you explain what these ratings mean and how the numbers, how the rating system works?”
About Leigh and Sally's Guest:
Cristie Upshaw Travis has been Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Business Group on Health since 1994, when she returned home to Memphis after living and working for 20 years throughout the Southeast, including Washington, D.C.
During her time away, Cristie earned her Master of Science degree in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She launched her career serving in health administration and planning positions in Tupelo, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. She progressed to consulting with continuing care retirement communities, hospitals, and physicians with Ernst & Whinney in Memphis, Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. She continued her rise in the healthcare arena as Vice President for a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare consulting firm.
Cristie's main objective is to deliver the most promising strategies to Memphis employers to help them manage the cost and quality of their health benefit plans. To help meet this objective, she networks with and is involved in, health care organizations and initiatives at a national level.
Mind Matters Innovations live from thINc360 in Baltimore

Mind Matters Innovations live from thINc360 in Baltimore

June 15, 2022

Solutions in Mental Crisis Care, Diminished Tasting Abilities, and Getting a Baseline in Your Health

Liftid, BrainCheck and Mind 24-7
Sally talks to three guests from three companies with unexpected, needed and outstanding products and services. We hope you agree. First is Liftid founder, Ken Davidov. He reveals their three products. Their first product is a focus stimulator with the drugs - it's all based on electric currents. You can find out more here, . Another one about to launch hits home for a lot of people dealing with taste issues due to long COVID symptoms. You'll want to follow their company and listen to his portion of this episode.
Next up is Antu Afswa, Partner Relationship Manager from  Mind 24-7. Mind24-7 offers three levels of care: express care, crisis care and stabilization, and progressions. They bridge the gap and alleviate pressures off the healthcare system to benefit the patient quickly. For up to 90 days, they work with patients, one-on-one therapy, medication management. They could either be waiting for placement at an inpatient center. They could be waiting for and needing help maybe for social determinants. For some of our adults, maybe they need help getting into a sober living situation, or maybe a homeless shelter.  If they have a family walk into one of their centers, we would have a place to send them that would house them, and take care of their mental health needs as well as physical needs. See if they can help you or your family here,
Finally, BrainCheck's Chief Growth  Officer, Matthew Cerullo, Chief Growth Officer joins Sally. BrainCheck provides a tool to primary care physicians and frontline providers that allows them to analyze, assess, and gain access to the data needed to actually get to a diagnosis or understand what's going on with the patient that is expressing mental decline or cognitive impairment. One of the things that they focus on is not just getting to a diagnosis, but really understanding cognitive health specifically in a clinical capacity. A lot of employers are looking to give a solution to their members or their employees that help them understand where they're at and, what they might need to watch out for in the future. The other area that they work with is on the Workman comp side. You can explore all of their services on their site,
Innovation Station live from thINc360 in Baltimore

Innovation Station live from thINc360 in Baltimore

June 8, 2022

Sally was live on the floor of thINc360 in the Innovation Station for this episode. She had interviews featuring three guests they found to have helpful and interesting products and services. Join her for this 12-minute episode featuring:

Malcolm Frank, Technical Account Manager, Whill
Whill provides personal mobility devices globally.

Dr. Jordan Duval-Arnould, CEO, Readyworks Health, Inc.
Readyworks Health is a workforce capacity optimization company. They replace any sort of paper-based tool that's being used by doctors, nurses, and clinical staff in a hospital. 

Jeremy Lovelace, CEO and founder of HFX training
HFX Training is focused on simulation-based executive training. 


Communities Being Built In the Spirit of InstaPot and Quickbooks

Communities Being Built In the Spirit of InstaPot and Quickbooks

May 23, 2022

Leigh and Sally asked their guest, RD Whitney, what community means to him. He says, “Community is a home for an area that doesn't have a home. It's a sense of belonging.” This corporate internal community building is becoming very popular for nonprofits, associations, corporations, brands, and media event companies. It was substantially accelerated by the pandemic it's been around for quite a while. QuickBooks is used by a lot of accountants around the world. Their users got together because they can share best practices. The company that created QuickBooks and owns it to it, encourages that, and that community is stronger because people share. Think about a consumer community centering on a product - InstaPot - the most successful one-day launch on Amazon. Think of all of the loyalty and offshoots from the initial recipe community. Join us for this episode of The Granite List Live, “Communities Being Built In the Spirit of InstaPot and Quickbooks.”

About Leigh and Sally’s Guest:

RD Whitney is the Chief Community Officer at Chief Executive Group (CEG) and the Chief Operating Officer for the CFO Leadership Council (a CEG Community). 

For over 30 years RD has focused on creating b2b communities that connect buyers and sellers through the gravity of professional training, events, peer learning, and data. He has successfully developed media businesses in multiple sectors through conferences, trade shows, online training, virtual events, industry award programs, SAAS businesses, research, databases, validation, publishing, peer learning, online marketplaces, certification programs, and sponsored/membership businesses. RD has an impressive track record of building and growing b2b community assets and recurring revenue businesses to quickly realize new value for members, vendors and investors.

Employee Retention Tax Credits Explained by 3P Risk Strategies

Employee Retention Tax Credits Explained by 3P Risk Strategies

May 3, 2022


As the tax season comes to a close, we've all got two things on our minds; "Did I file those right? It felt too easy" and "What kind of returns are we looking at this year?" Leigh and Sally are joined by Amanda Foley to discuss the complicated importance of Employee Retention Tax Credit, and what this new stimulus program that Covid brought us means for you and your business. Lots of money was lost when the pandemic shut down capitalism in a sense, and this year you should know how to get paid back. Find out who is eligible, and for how much, in this episode of The Granite List Live, with special guest Amanda Foley.


About Leigh and Sally's guest - Amanda Foley

Amanda Foley serves as COO of 3P Risk Strategies, a firm built around reducing risk and offering voluntary benefits to the employer space.
With over 15 years of experience in the benefits arena, Amanda Foley began her career as an employee benefits advisor. She grew her footprint in the space as a relationship manager focused on health management solutions. Prior to joining 3P Risk, she was most recently the Director of Business Development for LifeSpeak, a digital platform that has been lauded as hosting one of the largest libraries of wellness content. 
A unifying experience for plan members is the only way to bring true value.

A unifying experience for plan members is the only way to bring true value.

January 28, 2022

Medxoom on The Granite List Live - Matt Smith and Jeff Toewe

Today employer health plans, are focusing on self-funded, fully insured, level-funded, and all of the above options. But if you can look at different cash-pay opportunities, prepaid opportunities, having telehealth there, where people aren't just immediately going to urgent care and emergency rooms, you will come out ahead as a company people want to work for and your staff will be better served. Our guests from Medxoom are putting everything in the hand of the member. Leigh and Sally’s guests are Matt Smith and Jeff Toewe from Medxoom. They tell us why cookie-cutter groups aren’t a fit for them because they don’t create enough value for their client base. They want to understand what you're trying to do, the solutions you're trying to utilize to solve, to improve that member experience, and drive down that healthcare spend. Join us for this episode of The Granite List Live, “A unifying experience for plan members is the only way to bring true value.”

About our guests:

Matt Smith - Enterprise Sales, Medxoom

Matt spent the better part of the last decade helping employer groups tackle the challenges of building and executing their employee benefits plans. His focus to balance the needs of employers to avoid increases in benefit costs with the need to reduce the cost burden of the employee led him to his current role working with the Medxoom team as they are continuing to build on their vision of uncomplicating healthcare. Matt draws upon his experience with working with self-funded employer groups, TPAs, Captives, and other digital solutions to help bring best in breed partnerships to his clients as they look for innovative ways to help improve the cost and accessibility hurdles of purchasing healthcare. Matt has a passion for helping to make healthcare the focus rather than the current focus of health insurance for his clients and partners. Matt firmly believes that with healthcare at the center of the purchasing decision rather than health insurance, the power to improve the cost curve is greatly improved through the improved health of employees when they aren’t worried about where to go and how to pay for a doctor’s visit. Working with the team at Medxoom has empowered Matt to be able to help shift that focus back to how to purchase healthcare instead of just health insurance. 

Jeff Toewe - Co-Founder and CEO, Medxoom

As a tech start-up veteran with extensive tech aptitude and experience, Mr. Toewe has demonstrated success in strategy, solution design & execution. He has founded and led multiple Digital, Mobile and FinTech companies, achieving multiple successful exits. Recent deals include Cinergy International in the UK, which provides sophisticated point-of-purchase decision systems to mobile telecoms; M-Dot Network, which led the definition of digital coupon standards, won #1 Amazon Startup of the Year and today is used by nearly 20,000 retail stores; and DoubleBeam/GoPago, a payments solutions provider that is now a leading Tablet POS solution. Deeply active in the tech startup community, Mr. Toewe serves as an advisor and participant to multiple tech companies and enjoys mentoring startups. He has been featured and interviewed for Google #StartupGrind and has been a panelist and speaker for CTIA #LetsTalkPayments. 

Mr. Toewe earned a BA in Politics from Saint Joseph’s University and an MSIS (Master of Science in Information Systems) from Drexel University. He has also completed Open Courseware in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Now, Mr. Toewe, Co-Founder and CEO, is tackling the task of “Uncomplicating Healthcare” through this Medxoom platform. Medxoom optimizes the healthcare benefits experience for employers and their plan members through its mobile benefits integration platform.

Plan Design: What’s Now and What’s Next?

Plan Design: What’s Now and What’s Next?

January 21, 2022

Benefit plan design on the Granite List podcast


Leigh and Sally sit down with two renowned thought leaders in the benefits space to discuss what’s new and what’s next for plan design. Allison DePaoli was awarded Top Women in Benefit Advising in 2019 and Ed Ligonde was named 2021 Broker of the Year by BenefitsPro. Here, they share their passion for bringing the right solutions at the right time to fit the growing challenges employers are facing. 


About our guests:

Allison DePaoli

Allison DePaoli is a business consultant working with employers who know they have a healthcare problem.

As the daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs – manufacturers, car and heavy equipment dealers, insurance! – Allison had a front-row seat on what it takes to run a business and manage risk. She routinely advises employers on how to both control their healthcare budgets and turn their benefit plans into recruiting and retention magnets.

She is also a sought-after speaker and the host of Raising The Bar with Allison De Paoli, a podcast designed to help CEOs and Executive Teams learn and leverage what their peers are doing successfully into their own businesses.

In 2017 Allison was a contributing author to the Amazon Best Seller Breaking Through the Status Quo and is a regular contributor to Employee Benefits News

Edwige Ligonde

Edwige (Ed) Ligonde assists in finding creative ways to blend plan design and cost, enhancing both employer and employee lives. 

Named 2021 Broker of the Year by BenefitsPRO, Ed's journey to success in the benefits space has been used as a model for others. He holds a deep belief in the value of personal connections and leveraging technology for the benefit of humans, rather than replacing them. 

Ed strives towards the goal that healthcare does not have to be what it has in the past, and by making collaborative partnerships we can change the benefits space for the better. In that world, we build businesses that are true partners and advocates for clients rather than having reactive, transactional relationships. 

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