OAKWOOD, Ga. — Wayne Farms has been named 2021 Innovator of the Year by the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA), a cooperative of leading employers across the nation united in the common cause to improve healthcare quality and affordability for employees and their families.
The company was recognized during the HTA’s first annual Member Awards for 2021 along with Linde, which is a leading global industrial gas and engineering company, who was named HTA Member of the Year.
“By any measure, 2021 was a challenging year for U.S. employers, especially around employee health and well-being,” said Rob Andrews, CEO of the HTA. “Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, supply and labor shortages, and a broken healthcare system, all of our members made progress on their employee healthcare initiatives. Linde and Wayne Farms stand out for their excellence and innovation in critical areas: expanding access to quality healthcare while reducing costs for employees and themselves. These are extraordinary accomplishments in extraordinary times.”
“Our team members are the heart of our business,” said David Malfitano, Wayne Farms vice president and chief human resources officer. “Every Wayne Farms employee makes a valuable contribution every day — their well-being is vital to our success.”
He went on to note the complexity of today’s healthcare marketplace, and the impact of HTA insights, programs and initiatives on the company’s more than 9,000 employee workforce. Wayne Farms was one of the first 20 members of the HTA when it launched in 2016. Since becoming a member of HTA, Wayne Farms has launched several cost-saving initiatives including creation of a specialty drug “carve-out” with employee pharmacy and medical benefits, engaging a firm to train and standardize the performance of onsite clinics, implementing fraud/waste/abuse reviews on every claim and pioneering the separation of health plan administration from health plan financial transactions through use of an independent data server. These actions have enabled the company to roll back its overall healthcare costs in 2021 to 2018 levels — without passing along a single dollar of additional costs in specific areas to employees, the company noted.
Wayne Farms was also recognized for its direct contributions to the HTA, most notably for helping to develop and set data standards for HTA vendors.
“As a charter member of the HTA, we value their focus on data collection and analysis to enable development of healthcare solutions and benefits meeting the needs of our employees,” Malfitano added. “The data provided by fellow member companies and transformed into unbiased insights by the HTA gives even more confidence to take the bold steps necessary to aggressively manage costs without sacrificing quality. We all share the same goal: to improve the health and well-being of our most important asset — our people.”