Adaptability and flexibility; 2 characteristics Paul Scaglione says will be essential in the upcoming years

Paul Scaglione serves as the chief growth leader of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Trustmark Health Benefits. 

Mr. Scaglione will serve on the panel "The Evolution of New Types of Health Plans" at Becker's Payer Issues Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference on Nov. 7-8 in Chicago. 

To learn more and register, click here.

Becker's Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare's brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speaker had to say.

Q: What is the smartest thing you've done in the last year to set your system up for success? 

Paul Scaglione: The smartest thing I've done in the past year is to hire the right people to execute our strategy and vision. When I started in this position a couple of years ago, one of the first things I did was create a growth plan. I was excited about seeing it launch in the market. What is always the challenge to strategy is its execution of it. I've learned over my career that moving an organization in the right direction takes great people committed to the journey. 

Q: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous? 

PS: There is a lot I'm excited about right now especially given the recent announcement that Health Care Service Corporation has acquired us, which will accelerate our growth. I'm also very enthusiastic about the new solutions we've put on the market, including our partnership with Teladoc and Aon regarding virtual primary care health plans and the work we're doing with hospital systems, helping them launch their own direct-to-employer health plans.

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two? 

PS: Growth in the third-party administrator space has been a challenge over the past couple of years due to the impact of COVID-19 on employer groups willing to change. However, we're now entering a period where employers will want to look at alternatives, particularly alternatives that will reduce overall healthcare spending. As I think about growth, it is about retaining our existing block of business first and foremost and then adding new business through the strategies we've deployed, partnerships we've for,med and basic feet-on-the-street sales. When I think about investment, I think about two things – an enhancement to our capabilities and talent — which we are prepared to do with new ownership.

Q: What will healthcare executives need to be effective leaders for the next five years? 

PS: It will have to be the continuation of being adaptable and flexible. These past few years have shown us to expect the unexpected with COVID-19, the Great Resignation, and those alike. We must be prepared to lead through whatever comes ahead in the next five years. The focus over the next five years will be the cost given the likelihood of a recession, the member engagement, which means meeting the member where they're at, whether digital, virtual, in-home, at the office, etc. and the transparency with the new regulations will eventually change how employers/consumers purchase care.

Q: How are you building resilient and diverse teams? 

PS: Building resilient and diverse teams have been a challenge over the past two years with the "Great Resignation" and the shortage of talent in the market. However, I've focused on developing the existing talent in our organization with new roles or assignments that help with their career growth. I've also concentrated on bringing in diverse, talented individuals who are experienced in health care and want to solve problems for our clients and customers.  

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