Some Things Are Less Exciting Than Others

Friday we had a Samaritan board meeting, and I came into the weekend exhausted.  So between needing some sleep and the board meeting I missed out on about 4-6 hours of what would normally be study time on Thursday and Friday in a non-class week.

So Saturday, after finally getting my brain caught up on sleep, I walked (it was such a nice day!) down to LnB on Main St. to start my #studentsaturday where I abandon my family all day to try to study get back on top of this marketing project.

I don’t know what it is about the marketing work that has me less excited about my schoolwork than I have been about other assignments.  Perhaps it’s not really that way, but this middle stage is longer?  I don’t know.  But even though I’m working on a project that is decidedly Samaritan-focused I’m having trouble getting jazzed about it.

I’m almost halfway through school (45% on the calendar, to be precise, and 41% on class days, though those are back loaded with the trip) and it just might be that middle of the way hump that goes along with any process.  It could also be that the marketing strategy at Samaritan is something I’ve stayed way back from for my entire tenure here since my boss has a huge interest in it.

Saturday I got quite a bit done (as did the rest of the Fantastic Four) in the initial writing.  I’m still pretty nervous about this (my wife is reminding me daily that worry is a sin) and whether I’ll have the quality project at the end my team should be able to earn.  There’s now 18 days until it really needs to be done, with two Sundays and 5 days of travelling in there.  My sleep is nearly caught up from last week’s exhaustion, and I’m thankful for that, since it may be another three weeks before I can do more catching up.

So in lieu of excitement about the project, here’s what I’m learning from it so far:

  • the PPACA should continue driving people towards health care sharing for a while.  Multiple reasons for this, of course, but the strongest ones include:
    • Cost drivers in the regulations will continue to increase the average cost of a health insurance plan
    • Community rating (price leveling across risk groups) regulations will affect healthier, younger people more than less-healthy older folks, driving younger, healthier Christians away from the exchanges and towards paying the penalty or an alternative like health care sharing ministries.
    • Narrower networks in the exchange plans make an open, patient centered option like Samaritan more attractive especially at a lower price
  • Technological trends are crucial to be aware of.  Proper attention and action can make for a positive environment.  Ignoring the landscape or inaction can lead to problems serving members and an eroding market share.
  • I’m getting a lot more perspective from my teammates on our operation.  It’s always helpful to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, and the input I’m getting (and will get over the next few weeks) is going to be extremely valuable.

I’m still not feeling on top of the project with a trip starting today, but I’m making real progress.  Thursday night will be a long one, and I have some time this afternoon to work and hopefully a little unexpected down time on the trip.

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