How EmblemHealth exceeded costs savings’ goals by 12%-while enhancing human experience
The health group optimized facility management and sourcing to achieve savings and patient experience goals.
$3.4 million in savings, with seamless, 24/7 operations
2.1 million square feet
EmblemHealth is delivering consistent, high-end human experiences
As one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health insurers, EmblemHealth serves more than 3 million people across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. With a family of companies including leading health plans, primary and specialty care practices, and a digital wellness company, EmblemHealth is committed to creating healthier futures for its communities.
To expand upon its 80-year history of taking care of people, EmblemHealth sought a facilities management solution that would drive a consistent, high-end human experience across all its facilities—for the benefit of patients, physicians and administrative staff alike.
Like many healthcare organizations, however, EmblemHealth needed to fulfill this mission without adding financial pressure. In fact, its aim was to improve facility performance and quality while achieving operational cost savings at the same time.
These factors created a strong business case for bringing in a trusted facilities management partner, so EmblemHealth leaders turned to JLL for its trusted expertise, industry-leading technology and innovation. The partnering team would need to enhance facilities management, while minimizing disruption, adding value and supporting financial prudence across 61 locations.
And while no one could have foreseen it when the partnership began at the start of 2020, the JLL team would also need to help EmblemHealth sustain operations through the many disruptions that followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Healthcare organizations have been working tirelessly to meet the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. To achieve continual, high-quality care amidst disruption, partner with data-driven experts who can optimize facilities–and save in-house teams’ attention for the essential work of saving lives.” – JLL spokesperson
Bringing data-driven expertise into the facility management and sourcing mix
One of the project team’s first efforts was to right-size the number of third-party vendors engaged at the various facilities so EmblemHealth could benefit from volume pricing—but ensure quality of service. Many of the EmblemHealth sites had been managing vendor relationships independently, which led to inconsistencies in service and diminished opportunities for volume pricing. Through strategic sourcing, the team trimmed the vendor pool by 35%, reducing administrative overhead and improving the consistency of support services across the organization.
The team also leveraged advanced data and analytics to scrutinize the largest facilities-related expenditures. In addition to janitorial services—one of the biggest spend areas for any healthcare organization—biomedical equipment presented an opportunity for savings. The project team reduced preventive maintenance costs for equipment that was no longer in use and also achieved a more attractive pricing structure, thanks to JLL’s industry relationships.
Using data to align janitorial and other key operations became critically important when New York emerged as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Working in close partnership with EmblemHealth personnel, JLL helped keep facilities up and running through those first demanding months of the pandemic and beyond. Key actions included executing a full terminal clean of not only individual spaces, but sometimes entire physician practices whenever someone on the premises was suspected of having the virus. At the height of the pandemic, the facilities team managed 40 to 60 terminal cleans each day—a mammoth undertaking. To help manage the costs of the additional cleaning, the team deployed a new program using ultraviolet light, uncovering $500,000 in savings.
The project team also navigated other challenges unique to 2020, including the citywide shutdown that began a mere 45 days after program launch. The sourcing team helped a number of EmblemHealth facilities safely serve as testing centers for the public. Amid the social unrest that occurred in summer of 2020, JLL took proactive and swift steps to ramp up security in and around EmblemHealth facilities, ensuring staff and patients alike were safe even in areas surrounded by vandalism and arson.
Net result: Consistent, high-end experiences together with meaningful cost savings
Today, EmblemHealth patients and staff enjoy safer, more consistent, and higher quality experiences—while organizational leadership achieves important financial and operational goals. As a direct result of its partnership with JLL, EmblemHealth has exceeded its savings goals by generating $3.4 million in savings, despite the many unknowns and complex challenges of 2020.
What’s more, the smooth transition to JLL facility leadership did not trigger any downtime. The project team integrated EmblemHealth employees where appropriate, helping build trust and maintain historical knowledge of organizational operations and culture. And across all 43 EmblemHealth primary and specialty medical practices, operations have remained operational 24/7 without fail.
With all data pointing to a highly beneficial partnership to date, EmblemHealth leaders have since brought more projects to the project team—one of many testimonials to the successful JLL partnership.