May 31 marks the end of our fiscal year, so this is always a time of reflection for me. Our cooperative had a good year and, now that the numbers are in, I’d like to share some highlights.

Membership growth – We have had record-setting back-to-back years in terms of membership growth. This past year, membership grew by 18 percent on top of growth of 15 percent the year before. We now represent 211 employers who buy health care for more than 90,000 employees and their family members.

Member retention – Our member retention rate hit an all-time high at 95 percent.

Like any business, growth and retention rates are important barometers of performance and enable us to invest in new strategies to improve member value or to lower our costs. You saw this in action in our recently announced price decrease. But growth means something more to The Alliance; it helps us achieve our mission of improving health care value. Since our provider contracts are structured to reward high quality and efficiency, the more dollars that flow through our contracts, the stronger the market signal to improve health care value.

savingsNetwork savings rates – Our contracts generated an overall average savings rate of 35.7 percent, a one percent increase over the previous year. To put this in perspective, every one percentage point gain equates to $5.1 million in savings to Alliance members. More importantly per employee per year (PEPY) costs were 0.9 percent lower in FY14 than FY13.

Cheryl DeMars

Cheryl DeMars

President & CEO at The Alliance
Cheryl DeMars joined The Alliance in 1992, assuming several roles before becoming CEO in December 2006. Cheryl works with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to establish the strategic direction of the cooperative.

Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Cheryl DeMars