TPA’s Annual Cost Containment Conference Is Another Success as Attendees Learn about Strategies for Self-Funding

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Returning for the fourth year, the annual Cypress University cost containment conference was a success after being presented to its largest crowd yet in Las Vegas this week. The event was hosted by Cypress Benefit Administrators, a Midwest-based third party administrator (TPA), and brought employers and brokers together from across the U.S. to learn about the latest in self-funding from industry leaders.

Cypress University from Cypress Benefit Administrators
Each year, Cypress University covers the hot topics in self-funding and educates people on strategies they can apply within their own plans.

As in years past, all seats filled for the 2015 Cypress University, an annual cost containment conference held in Las Vegas and hosted by Cypress Benefit Administrators since 2012.

The event took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with 200+ attendees representing employer-clients, brokers and experts in the self-funded field. It featured two days’ worth of presentations, panels and networking opportunities organized by the third party administrator (TPA) firm, and provided how-to advice for controlling the rising expenses of employee benefits.

Tom Doney, president and CEO of Cypress, explained Cypress University to be an event that attendees eagerly anticipate and get real value from. “The concept has really clicked with participants since it was first introduced in 2012,” he said. “Each year, Cypress University covers the hot topics in self-funding and educates people on strategies they can apply within their own plans.”

While in session, Cypress University featured the following presentations on cost containment:

  • Controlling the ever-escalating costs of prescriptions – understanding the specialty drugs entering the market and ways to reduce the rising expenses of these and other medications; Dick Bullard, chief pharmacy officer of Magellan Rx
  • The growth in captive insurance options – insights on the captive insurance market today along with best practices for current participants and prospects; Andrew Clayton, president of Pareto Captive Services
  • Handling Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) costs – facts about CKD and how proactive identification, education and coaching can help reduce the associated expenses; Shelley Grace, executive vice president of sales and market development of DCC, Inc.
  • Innovations in on-site and near-site medical – how businesses can use this approach to reduce costs while increasing participation rates and patient satisfaction scores; Debra Geihsler, principal and Robert Mandel, MD, MBA, president – Northeast Region of Activate Healthcare
  • Pricing and quality transparency in health care – giving employees the information needed to find the best care at a fair price; Mike O’Neil, senior vice president – strategy & development of Healthcare Bluebook
  • Patient advocacy and navigating care options – helping patients sort through such a high volume of information to choose the right providers and treatment options; Abbie Leibowitz, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Health Advocate
  • Online enrollment and private exchange options – information on why these options have gained popularity with the Affordable Care Act and how they work; Ernie Harris, executive vice president – business development of Maestro Health

Along with these presentations, Cypress University incorporated the return of two popular panel sessions – one on the real-world success stories of employers who partner with Cypress and another on stop-loss insurance.

“As important as it is for us to cover the latest developments in self-funding, we also realize how essential it is to re-visit issues like stop-loss,” Doney explained. “One of the biggest draws to Cypress University is the fact that it’s so all-encompassing.”

Another element that returned was a networking lunch that provided an opportunity for presenters and participants to interact one-on-one. “It was great to see so many connections made in the two days at Cypress University and such an open exchange of ideas,” Doney said. “That’s one of the main goals behind this event.”

A privately held company headquartered in Appleton, Wis., Cypress Benefit Administrators has been pioneering the way toward cost containment in self-funded health benefits since 2000. The third party administrator (TPA) is the country’s first to bring claims administration, consumer driven health plans and proven cost control measures together into one package for companies ranging from 50 employees to thousands of employees. It serves employer-clients across the U.S. with additional locations in Portland and Salem, Ore., Omaha, Neb. and Denver, Col. For more information on Cypress and its customized employee benefits, visit

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Lori Van Handel
Willems Marketing & Events
+1 920.750.5020
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Tom Doney
Cypress Benefit Administrators
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