Start of Main Content
Employer Direct Healthcare logo

How Employer Direct Healthcare uses Definitive Healthcare to identify key physicians

Welcome to Customer Corner! The Definitive Healthcare series that gives you a look into how organizations use the platform to grow their business. In today’s episode, we’re joined by Ben Sanders, Vice President of Strategy at Employer Direct Healthcare. Ben and Emily discuss how Definitive Healthcare’s Atlas Reference and Affiliation dataset helped Employer Direct Healthcare better understand physicians with data on their affiliations, specialties, office locations, phone numbers, board certifications, and more. Ben also shares how they use Atlas All-Payor Claims data to understand diagnosis volumes. With our healthcare commercial intelligence, Employer Direct Healthcare can determine physicians who are the best fit for their members.

Key result

Increased precision of physician targeting.


Learn how we can help you grow your business faster by starting a free trial today.

Episode transcript

Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning into an episode of “Customer Corner.” This is the Definitive Healthcare series that gives you a look into how companies are using the platform to grow their business. My name’s Emily De Oliveira and I’m a Senior Product Marketing Manager. And on today’s episode, I’m joined by Ben Sanders, Vice President of Strategy at Employer Direct Healthcare. Welcome, Ben.

Hey, how you doing?

I’m doing great. So to get us started, can you tell me a little bit about your organization and your role?

So Employer Direct Healthcare has two products. We have our core legacy offering SurgeryPlus, which is about delivering discounted surgeries to members across the country with incredibly high quality physicians. And we have Cancer Care Direct, our comprehensive oncology navigation offering. That’s what we’re gonna spend our time talking about today. I personally, Vice President of Strategy, Employer Direct Healthcare, has two components to that. That’s the traditional, let’s set the budget, let’s look at partnerships, M&A opportunities. And then, why I’m here talking to you is I also have been incubating and launching our Cancer Care Direct, the oncology solution.

Fantastic. Well, thanks for that background. And could you share a bit more about what services EDHC provides?

Yeah, so won’t spend a ton of time on SurgeryPlus, though it is a fantastic service where we have created a narrow network of incredibly high quality physicians doing surgeries at discounted rates for our clients and their members. That’s number one. Number two, Cancer Care Direct, that’s our brand new product. That’s how we’ve really engaged with Definitive Healthcare. So there, we’re using a nurse-led care team to provide guidance, kind of comprehensive guidance to members with cancer or members who are supporting a loved one with cancer. So that’s pre-diagnosis, I’ve got a lump, I’m scared, through active treatment all the way into survivorship. I’ve got the unique psychosocial problems that come along with being a long-term survivor of cancer. So we handle it all in that we’re doing psychosocial answering, we’re doing, let me help you prepare for your doctor’s appointment. We’re doing, I just have a doctor’s appointment. I don’t understand anything the doctor said to me. The doctor went way too quickly. I was too scared, can you help me understand it? And we’re doing provider recommendations. We also created a kind of a partner network of facilities across the country with incredibly high quality care that, when possible, we refer to to make sure our members get seen quickly. And we’ve integrated with remote second opinion offerings like Access Hope or 2nd.MD to make sure that if a member needs a second opinion and a remote second opinion is appropriate in that case, that we’re making that happen remotely ‘cause that’s better for the member and it happens quicker.

Oh, that’s fantastic. Yeah, it sounds like your solutions are incredibly valuable to help patients connect with the right healthcare providers for their care. And I can also imagine it improves their patient experience and just overall access to equitable care.

That’s exactly it at its core. We’ve found that access to high quality care just isn’t happening correctly and it’s not happening correctly ‘cause it’s expensive and it’s not happening correctly because it often means travel and it’s not happening correctly because members don’t have the right information or expertise to make a decision on if a provider is high quality or not. And it’s those problems, cost, access, understanding, that we’re trying to solve in both of our solutions.

Absolutely. And so, how are you initially using Definitive Healthcare in the oncology space?

Yeah, so like I said, we recently launched, right? We launched in November. So we were using it initially in this MVP version of our product where what Definitive Healthcare delivers really, really well at its core is an easy to understand layout of all the information you would need to get your arms around who is this provider, right? So affiliations, where the office is, the phone number, that’s really important when we’re trying to help a member get to a doctor. But also time practicing, reported specialty, claims-based specialty, sanctions, board certifications, the kind of information we would need to start to assess, would we even consider this doctor to be high quality enough that we’re gonna dig in and look at their background, understand their research, understand what clinical trials they’ve participated in, right? All the stuff you hope someone would do for you when making a recommendation of a provider. So again, we were using it. We were low volume, just launching our product and it was okay that we were incredibly manual and Definitive Healthcare was a great help in that and that we had a lot of that hard-defined information right at our fingertips.

Yeah, well, thanks for sharing your perspective on how you’re using our reference and affiliation data. And I also understand that you recently added our Atlas All-Payor Claims dataset. So why was it important to do so?

Yeah, so we were in this moment where we were transitioning from that minimum viable product version of Cancer Care Direct to something that we can service hundreds of thousands, millions ultimately of members with, right? And what you can’t do with… What you can do with MVP that you can’t do with at scale is an incredibly deep time-intensive dive into a large number of providers, right? So imagine you come to me, you have a breast cancer diagnosis, you’re looking for a medical oncologist and you’re living in New York City. The number of doctors you could go to is pretty large. And when we are in our MVP version, it’s okay that we’re winnowing it down and looking at all the individual doctors and trying to understand which one is best for you. We can’t do that with 150, 200,000, 500,000 members. So we needed a way to do some sort of automation. At the same time, you just can’t automate fully the search for the right oncologist. It is too important and the nuances are too deep to fully automate. So what the Atlas All-Payor Claims allowed us to do, which I just thought was fantastic, was using that initial set of Definitive Healthcare data. What is the specialty of this doctor? Where does the doctor practice? Does the doctor have kind of the hurdles I would need to even consider them? I can filter that lists down to specialty that you care about, location you care about. I’m not gonna get rid of this doctor because something doesn’t fit. And then let’s say I have 15 doctors, but that’s too many to look at. Then I can look at, for the diagnosis that my member is dealing with today, how many patients over the last year, two years, did each doctor see? That’s a really, really useful mechanism to understand what’s the three to five doctors of that 15 that we should spend our time investigating to make sure that they’re the right doctor for our member? And that’s where the Atlas All-Payor Claims data is really, really special.

Well, that is great that Definitive Healthcare has helped you to identify the right physicians so that you can connect them to the patients who would most benefit from their expertise. And this has been such a fantastic conversation. So before we go, I have one last question. What has the impact been from using Definitive Healthcare?

So, I mean, I think the impact is Definitive Healthcare was key to us feeling like we could get an initial version of the product stood up. Atlas All-Payor Claims was fundamental in our feeling comfortable launching it from pilot to, we’re truly doing this. It is the core of how we’re thinking about assessing providers.

That is great. Well, thank you so much for joining today. We’re so thrilled to hear about the ROI your organization has had so far. So thank you so much for your time, Ben.

Yeah, thank you.

And I also wanna thank the audience for watching this episode of “Customer Corner.” If you’d like to share your story on the show, you can reach out to us at and you can visit our website to learn more about how other organizations are using our platform to create commercial success.

Employer Direct Healthcare logo