Health Care and the Bottom Line

eddie gammill"Clients want to know what their peers are doing and how the rest of the world is approaching health care benefits."—Eddie Gammill



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In a world where health care and business are inextricably linked, Eddie Gammill 01N 05MN advocates for the patient's best interest. That's good for the bottom line too.

As a health management consultant for Towers Watson, a global consulting firm, Gammill applies his nursing background to the business side of medicine by helping business leaders understand how their decisions could impact the health and quality of their employees.

He works with teams of actuaries, generalists, specialists, and project managers to present and analyze benefit plans and data about national trends and support plan design and vendor selection. His clients—some with as many as 400,000 employees—come from industries as diverse as hospitals, education, retail, energy, and manufacturing, even rocket science.

"A key part of my job is to bring a clinical perspective to discussions related to health and benefits design," Gammill says. "As health care becomes more costly, it's important to consider the clinical impact of health care, the scope of those services, and the implications if programs are scaled back or eliminated.

"We also evaluate health management programs and services and implement changes to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of those programs to ultimately improve the clinical delivery of services and hopefully the health of employees."

Towers Watson works closely with organizations to help control health care costs while keeping employees healthy and productive, according to its website.

"The beauty of consulting is that we provide our clients with data to help them decide how aggressive or not they want to be in their benefits packages—for example, how many of their peers are levying tobacco surcharges or what are the costs and benefits of offering on-site medical services?" Gammill explains. 

"Clients want to know what their peers are doing and how the rest of the world is approaching health care benefits. We help our clients analyze where they are and where they want to be. If they want to implement a new program, we advise them on how to implement and integrate it with other carrier partners such as care management programs, disease management programs, behavioral health, pharmacy, dental, and eye."

The former opera singer and emergency, trauma, and cardiac nurse discovered the field of corporate health and wellness while earning his master's degree in nursing leadership and administration at Emory. After a graduate residency in corporate health and the wellness program at Coca-Cola, he spent six years as Emory's manager for wellness programs before joining Towers Watson.

He advises other nurses interested in consulting that it's essential to have a good understanding of business and how business impacts health.

"But once a nurse, always a nurse," Gammill says. "I still help people every single day but in a different way. Rather than giving medicine or doing a procedure, I help clients make decisions that have the potential to affect the health of thousands."—MG

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