Quad/Graphics drops direct health care contracting

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. is dropping direct health care contracting for its Wisconsin employees and switching to Anthem Inc.’s national network effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The move will “dramatically” increase the number of providers employees can access, according to John Neuberger, the company’s director of client partnerships.

While Quad/Graphics, a self-insured employer, has maintained its contractors with preferred providers in Wisconsin, the company switched to Anthem three years ago for its nationwide employees as a result of its 2010 acquisition of Worldcolor.

According to director of corporate communications Claire Ho, the company grew from 11,000 employees nationwide to 19,000 and from 11 U.S. plants to 59 due to the acquisition of Worldcolor and other subsequent printers.

Neuberger said the company up until then could manage the direct contracts internally, but the acquisitions resulted in too many sites to do that. Today, Quad/Graphics has printing plants in 27 states.

After recently evaluating vendors and undergoing an RFP process, however, Quad/Graphics decided to switch Wisconsin onto Anthem’s national network as well because it provides the “best network with the best pricing.” In addition to its employees receiving access to an unspecified yet “dramatic” increase in providers, Neuberger said the company will also reap “significant” savings.

Neuberger added that the change to Anthem will not impact QuadMed LLC, the health care subsidiary formed by Quad/Graphics in 1990, but rather enhance it.

“Moving toward Anthem is an important decision for us, but it will be good for the company and our employees,” Neuberger said. “We’re walking away from direct contracting, but we’re not walking away from working closely with key providers.”

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