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Press Releases by Date   |   Press Releases by Company Name

View More Press Releases by National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Press Release

Qualcomm and Merrill Steel Honored by the National Alliance for Healthcare Strategy Innovation

Issued by National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Nov. 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Business Group on Health recognized for coalition leadership, and Cigna received eValue8™ Innovation Award

WASHINGTON – November 9, 2020 – Qualcomm and Merrill Steel were awarded the 2020 Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions at its Annual Forum. The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health was recognized with the 2020 Membership Leadership Award and Cigna received the 2020 eValue8™ Innovations Award.

“All of these organizations are excellent examples of stakeholders no longer willing to accept the status quo and committed to improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce and value of healthcare in their communities,” said Michael Thompson, National Alliance President and CEO. “We acknowledge and highlight their efforts in the hopes that others will also learn and lead by their examples.”

The Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award is presented to a large and medium sized employer or purchaser who demonstrates leadership and innovation in advancing overall health and healthcare value through their approach to benefit programs and design, employee engagement, and support of coalitions efforts. Previous award recipients include The Walt Disney Company, Walmart, Brakebush Brothers, Southwire, East Penn International, and The Boeing Company.

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes and communicates. A member of the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), Qualcomm was recognized for its leadership role in building a ground-breaking bundled payment program for maternity. Part of a partnership with Scripps, UnitedHealthcare/Optum and PBGH, the maternity bundle is meant to enhance the patient experience and improve the quality of care by encouraging the use of midwives, mental health screenings and follow up in both prenatal and postpartum care.

“Qualcomm is passionate about providing the best childbirth experience possible for our families,” said Melissa Real, Director, Americas Benefits, Qualcomm. “We appreciate the dedication of PBGH, Scripps, and UHC to help us develop a truly comprehensive maternity program that supports our members’ journey throughout pregnancy and postpartum.”

Merrill Steel
Based in Schofield, WI, Merrill Steel is one of the largest steel fabricators in the US and a member of The Alliance. Merrill Steel built an on-site health clinic that has saved the organization more than $4 million in total healthcare costs in just four years while offering employees high-quality care. The company also created a mobile health clinic to make house calls and added physical therapy and chiropractic therapies to their on-site clinic to support employee musculoskeletal health, due to the nature and physicality of working in a steel fabrication shop.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of a company in which the family ownership supports innovative efforts to provide high-quality healthcare to employees and their families at a transparent, affordable cost,” said Matt Ohrt, VP of HR and Medical Services at Merrill Steel. “Healthcare is our third largest expense behind employee wages and steel, and our ability to manage those costs while achieving high-quality care means better job stability, healthier families, and overall financial success.” 

Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
The Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH), one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to helping companies protect and promote their ability to provide high-quality, equitable and affordable healthcare, received the 2020 Membership Award. This award is presented to a member who demonstrates leadership and commitment to heath and healthcare value on behalf of their members and their employees and community. In addition to supporting the National Alliance as a board member, PBGH has played an instrumental role in shaping and supporting the race, health and equity agenda for the National Alliance to help coalitions and employers better understand and constructively engage on key issues that have become a priority for the country.

“Sitting on the sidelines on these issues is not an option for PBGH and true value in healthcare delivery and experience can only be realized once we focus, collaborate, and act through an equity lens,” said Jessica Brooks, PBGH CEO. “We thank the National Alliance for this recognition and partnership, our members for not hesitating to lead, and our coalition peers for their commitment and intent to address the intersectionality of race, health, and equity.” 

Cigna was selected for the eValue8 Innovation Award which recognizes the innovative work and measurable results of health plans that participate in eValue8, the National Alliance’s resource used by purchasers to measure and evaluate health plan and pharmacy benefit manager quality and performance. Cigna was honored for its efforts to close the disparity gap for breast cancer screening among Black women in Tennessee. In 2015, Cigna launched a customer initiative with culturally tailored, personalized messages to address specific healthcare concerns and access to care issues. Cigna also leveraged relationships through a local collaboration in Memphis with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and the Congregational Health Network to offer screening with mobile mammography vans at churches in local neighborhoods. A 2018 Cigna analysis revealed that the breast cancer screening rate disparity for Black Cigna customers in Tennessee had been successfully eliminated.

“Ending a persistent health disparity, like the gap in breast cancer screenings among Black women, doesn’t happen overnight,” said Neema Stephens, MD, National Medical Director for Health Equity, Cigna. “Our work in Tennessee shows that it is achievable with the right approach. This would not have been possible without the collaborative, community-wide effort to engage patients and expand access to screenings. We’re honored to be recognized for this important work by the National Alliance.”

About National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions
The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance) is the only nonprofit, purchaser-led organization with a national and regional structure dedicated to driving health and healthcare value across the country. Its members represent private and public sector, nonprofit, and Taft-Hartley organizations, and more than 45 million Americans, spending over $300 billion annually on healthcare. To learn more, visit and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

View More Press Releases by National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

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