Cost-Cutters

A health care contractor in Rochester Hills saves its clients millions of dollars.


Published:

Dave Bommarito, Dwight A. Foster, and Scott E. Lusader, principals of Riverstar Cost Containment Partners.

Photographs by Josh Scott

Sometimes it pays to be in the shadows. When offering what can be millions of dollars in health care savings, Riverstar Cost Containment Partners in Rochester Hills often stays in the background and allows its clients to take all of the credit.

In one instance, Riverstar developed a patented repricing program that can generate 75 percent in annual savings to companies with workers on dialysis. With an average annual savings of $400,000 to $500,000 per case, the costs add up very quickly for a large company  that may have 1,000 employees who are being treated for End Stage Renal Disease.

“We introduce our programs to health care brokers and consulatants, who in turn, bring them to their large client groups, and the brokers and consultants can be the white knight,” says Dwight A. Foster, managing director of Riverstar. “Some of our partners prefer that we’re in the background. Adding another vendor can be complicated, and (it can) take a lot of time and money to develop a new relationship.”

Foster and his partners, Scott E. Lusader and David J. Bommarito, each bring a unique skill set to the company. Foster, a former player for the Detroit Red Wings, has spent nearly 30 years running a financial and insurance consulting firm along with a registered investment advisory firm. He also co-founded McKinley Technology Group, a small private equity firm.

Lusader, a former outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, is a certified financial planner. In 2001, he started Lusader Consulting to assist large corporations with cost containment solutions, especially as it relates to insurance and finance. “I’m a dealmaker,” Lusader says. “As director of sales, I spend a lot of time helping our clients understand that we really can save them a lot of money. They often don’t believe it at first.”

Bommarito, director of product innovation, is a registered financial consultant who operates Rochester Hills-based The Benefits Group Inc., a full-service benefits company. “We work with multiple businesses and government agencies to improve their outcomes,” he says.

Working with the New York City Transit Authority, Riverstar’s Medicare partner proposed to the union that it look to potentially shift some of its nearly 18,000 retired and nonactive employees under 65 years old to Medicare.

When all of the people were surveyed, Riverstar, its partner, and the union determined around 1,500 individuals could be converted over to Medicare, which Foster says saved the union millions of dollars annually.

“I know that might look easy, but in reality it isn’t,” he says. “You must really have an intimate knowledge of Medicare and the employer’s health care plan in order to coordinate properly and (to recognize) savings without impacting what the retirees are getting in terms of coverage.” db

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