Morgan Stanley is the latest big employer to take a more active role in tackling rising healthcare costs, hiring its first chief medical officer and head of human resources data and analytics earlier this week. The new hire is David Stark, assistant professor and medical director from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a spokesperson confirmed to Healthcare Dive.
Stark is a doctor who has worked at New York-based Icahn as an assistant professor of health system design and global health and served as medical director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare since July 2016. Business Insider first reported the new role.
Stark will seek ways to stem the tide of healthcare costs while boosting wellness for the 57,000 employees at the bank. Stark created Lab100 earlier this year, a clinic and research lab at Mount Sinai that leverages data and analytics to help patients try to improve their own health and behavior.
Morgan Stanley married HR data and analytics with the role of CMO, Jeff Brodsky, chief human resources officer at Morgan Stanley, said in an emailed statement to Healthcare Dive. "Harnessing our HR data, we can achieve better wellness for our employees and address rising healthcare costs."
This goal is shared by the triumvirate of J.P. Morgan, Amazon and Berkshire-Hathaway, except inside the company as opposed to creating an entirely new healthcare venture.
Though more and more heavy hitters are trying, cutting costs is a tall order.
Employers expect the price tag of providing healthcare for their employees will rise another 6% for the sixth consecutive year to almost $15,000 per employee, according to a National Business Group on Health survey earlier this year.
Companies themselves will cover roughly 70% of that figure. Many employers are pushing more of that burden on their workers in the forms of high-deductible plans that increase out-of-pocket expenses.
One way businesses are trying to cut employee healthcare costs is direct contracting with providers. More are taking this route — the same NBGH study found some 11% of companies plan to contract directly with providers in 2019, up from just 3% this year.
Walmart has a Center of Excellence network that contracts with 12 centers around the U.S. to reduce unnecessary spinal surgeries in its employees. It incentivizes specialists to provide the right treatment through bundled payments, allowing the biggest private U.S. employer to influence costs.
Employer-specific plans are another route. Walmart has a partnership with Ochsner Health Network announced earlier this week and General Motors partners with the Henry Ford Health System.
To helm their venture, Amazon-BH-JPM snatched up Atul Gawande, New Yorker staff writer and Harvard surgery professor, and Jack Stoddard, former general manager for digital health at Comcast, to be CEO and COO, respectively.
Though much younger, Stark has an impressive resume. He was a medical and bioengineering research fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine and received his undergraduate degree from Yale, his medical degree from Harvard and has a Master of Science in biomedical informatics from Stanford.
"In this role, I'll have a unique opportunity to leverage data and technology to unlock value-based care for our employees while also generating data-driven insights to better support our workforce," Stark told Healthcare Dive in a statement. "I look forward to working with the talented team at Morgan Stanley to innovate new solutions and find synergies between employee health and work."