The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

115: Becoming Better Healthcare Consumers with Al Lewis, Founder of Quizzify

Al Lewis pic-resized

If you don’t already know Al Lewis, then I’m not sure where you’ve been hiding. He is quite an antagonizer in the wellness world (although he prefers the term iconoclast) but we’re not talking about wellness today.

Al is the founder of Quizzify, whose mission is to help companies teach their employees to utilize healthcare services appropriately.

Al and I talk about why health info (benefits, procedures, Rx) is so hard to understand, where employers are missing the mark in terms of benefit design and why they aren’t teaching their employees to become better healthcare consumers.

He also tells us the #1 question/recommendation employers and employees push back on. Finally, he provides advice on what employers can do to increase literacy and what wellness pros can do to stay in the know.

Vote me in to next year’s WELCOA Summit Intensive session! Until November 30th, you can vote for the Intensive sessions you want to see at WELCOA’s 2019 Summit. My session is titled “Next Generation Wellness: From Theory to Practice” can be found HERE.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Basic health literacy is “can you read a label on a bottle of pills?”. Consumer medical education covers things that are more applicable to an employer, such as the amount of radiation in a CAT scan. Quizzify addresses somewhere between health literacy and consumer medical education.
  • Employers tend to be too trusting and take vendor’s word for their ROI claims.
  • It’s very difficult to drive down ER utilization beyond 10%.
  • Employers can approach opioids in two ways – take providers who provide opioids at a higher rate out of network and educate employees (who often don’t know which meds are opioids).
Check out these highlights (with timestamps):
  • How Al defines the difference between health literacy and consumer medical education. [6:00
  • Al’s recommendation to employers who are getting ROI claims from vendors. [13:57]
  • The complexity of ER use and free standing ER clinics [15:55]
  • The one thing employers and employees push back on [20:15]
  • The toothpaste you may be using that contains a pesticide [34:00]
  • Al’s fix for cavities in place of getting your tooth drilled [39:15]
  • Al’s two tangible tips for employers to increase consumer medical education and for wellness pros to stay in the know [47:05]
Mentioned in this episode:

Validation Institute


Full Bio:

Al Lewis wears multiple hats, both professionally and also to cover his bald spot. As an author, his critically acclaimed category-bestselling book on outcomes measurement, Why Nobody Believes the Numbers, chronicling and exposing the innumeracy of the health management field, was named 2012 healthcare book of the year in Forbes.  Cracking Health Costs:  How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care, released in 2013, was also a trade bestseller.  His 2014 book Surviving Workplace Wellness has also received great accolades and excerpts appeared in Harvard Business Review and elsewhere.

As a consultant, he is widely acclaimed for his expertise in population health and wellness outcomes and strategy, and in 2013 was named one of the unsung heroes changing health care forever.

As a validator of population health outcomes, he is the primary consultant to the Intel-GE Validation Institute.

As an executive, he is the founder of Quizzify, whose mission is to help companies teach their employees to utilize healthcare services appropriately, using a format best described as Jeopardy®-meets-health benefit education-meets-Comedy Central.

He is also one of the population health field’s most acclaimed speakers, as well as a prolific author and interviewee on outcomes economics, having been featured in almost every major lay and healthcare publication.

But he still can’t get his kids to clean up their rooms.