An Interview With Ashley Bacot
Risk Manager, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
FLHCC At-Large Director
The Florida Health Care Coalition’s Executive Board Members are investing their time and talents to ensure the organization remains a strong and principal voice in health care management for Florida employers.  We’d like to introduce you to some of these members so you can get to know them and learn about why they’re committed to the FLHCC.

This month, we visited with Mr. Ashley Bacot, Risk Manager for Rosen Hotels & Resorts.  Ashley is a new FLHCC At-Large Director but has been involved with our organization for about three years.  Ashley is a true Floridian.  He was born in Jacksonville and raised in Madison, Florida, something he readily admits is a rarity among the state’s population where everyone seems to be from someplace else. 

You’ve been working in your field during your entire career. Tell us about your start.

I got interested in risk management at the age of 16, when someone introduced me to the field and I’ve been in it ever since.  I received my degree in risk management and insurance from Florida State University (Go ‘Noles!).

You’ve been with Rosen Hotels and Resorts for 16 years.  What led you there and what is your role?

I was director of public risk management for a large insurance company for several years.  Harris Rosen asked me to be the risk manager for his company and I took advantage of the offer.

I have an oversight role as it relates to the Rosen Medical Center which is at the very core of our health care program for our associates and their dependents.  I work closely with our Human Resources and Finance departments to manage our cutting edge health care program.  It turned out to be a great career move and I’m very happy here!

Rosen Hotels & Resorts self-insures its associates and their dependents. Please share an overview of your plan.

Our whole focus in creating our plan was to reduce or eliminate barriers to health care and provide our associates and their dependents with the facilities and support they need to get and stay healthy.  In terms of reducing or eliminating barriers, we have low associate plan contributions, which are a fraction of the national average and there are no deductibles.  We have very low co-pays for our pharmacy and the majority of our prescriptions do not cost the associates anything.  We also provide free transportation to and from our wellness facility.  Another benefit that Mr. Rosen offers, which removes barriers to care, is our associates remain on the clock during their time at the medical center.  So no one has an excuse not to get care. Membership in Weight Watchers is free for those who need weight management and we also offer tai chi, Zumba, spinning and other classes, on site, in which our associates can participate at no charge.

“Rosen Care” is the name of our program and our Rosen Medical Center provides comprehensive primary care.  RMC drives the quality of care by providing our associates with almost anything they need such as radiology services, physical therapy, and a full fitness facility along with many other diagnostic and preventative services. Compared to national averages, our wait time to get an appointment to see a practitioner or time spent in our waiting room is very short.  We make sure our associates get world-class service and we’re constantly improving and reinventing care.

Rosen Care plan costs are significantly less than what the average employer pays for health care and the benefits are richer than any in the marketplace.  This is because we have a laser-like focus on prevention.  As soon as an associate is eligible for health care benefits, they go to RMC and get a physical.  If anything is found during the course of their exam, then we do everything to get and keep them healthy.

We have care managers at RMC who stay glued to our associate to see that they get all prescribed care.  If they have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, we have diabetes coaches and on-site lab services to ensure they are monitored and regularly tested. Our diabetic compliance rate is greater than 80 percent; the national average is about 40 percent.  When someone reaches the age that they need a colonoscopy, our care managers make sure they get it. If an associate needs to go to a hospital, care managers at RMC are in constant contact with case managers at the hospital to monitor patient status. And when home care is an option, we have workers to care for them.

What do you see on the horizon for employer health care purchasing and management?

Hospital costs make up a large portion of our health care costs.  There needs to be more competition among hospitals, which will drive quality improvement and lower costs.  The paradigm shift from fee-for-service to value based payment is taking it in the right direction.  It can’t come too soon. 

Hospitals, specialists and the health care industry are trying to wrap their minds around value-based pay, what it will look like and how it will impact their industry; and most importantly, how it’ll affect their revenue.  I like the concept, but will the health care industry really allow costs to go down; that’s the big question.  As a nation, we’re spending nearly $3 trillion annually on health care -- that’s 17% of GDP!  If it keeps climbing higher than the cost of living, bad things are on the horizon.  Big pharma presents another challenge.  There needs to be more transparency in pricing and we must bend the cost curve for specialty drugs, which are making up a larger percentage of pharmacy costs.  The industry is predicting that specialty pharmacy spend will become 50 to 70% of an employer’s overall pharmacy spend. 

What is one thing you would like to see change regarding health care?

My personal opinion: every single person in the U.S. must have truly affordable, accessible and high quality health care. It makes me sad that it’s not the case. So many people simply do not have coverage and many of those who do have coverage also have high deductibles and unaffordable out of pocket costs. Research shows that these short-term responses (deductibles and co-insurances) create barriers, delay care and in the long-run increase costs.  Statistics show those without access to health care have a poorer quality of life and don’t live as long as those who do.

What makes the FLHCC an organization to which all large-employer health care purchasers in Florida should belong?

There are an abundance of educational initiatives available at any given time through the FLHCC. Whether it’s a webinar, workshop or attending FLHCC’s annual conference, you get valuable information to infuse into your health care program.

If you’re completely lost, for example, in understanding the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, you have FLHCC “family” with resources and knowledge that can help you navigate the process.  There is a synergy between all the members and by banding together we have a very strong voice.  FLHCC represents the voices of the hundreds of thousands of lives we collectively cover, and when the FLHCC talks, the health care community listens.

I honestly can’t imagine not having the FLHCC and all its resources and expertise at my fingertips.


Updated 6/23/2015

Ashley Bacot Interview - 2015