The Future of Employee Benefits Blog

At Maxwell Health, our aim is to fix health care in America. To do that, we've built an operating system for employee benefits.

8 Movies About Health, Wellness, and Other Drugs

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 9:33:49 AM by Ali Desjardin

Good movies are contagious, right? Maxwell Health thinks so!

8. Side Effects

Not my favorite movie, but worth a watch if you like movies about health and prescription drug drama. The cast had me thinking that this would be great, but it was good. IMDb really liked the movie (especially compared to the other movies on this list). Depression, drugs, prison, and Rooney Mara—it isn’t a complete waste of time!

IMDb: A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

7. Contagion

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Meditating Meditation: Maxwell’s Morning Mindfulness

Posted on Jul 22, 2014 9:04:00 AM by Ali Desjardin

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One Week Later: The Maxwell Health Launch Party 2014

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 11:55:00 AM by Ali Desjardin

On Monday, July 14, we hosted a launch party for the ages at the Maxwell Health Boston Headquarters. We spent the weekend decking out our (admittedly already awesome) office space with festive lights, and we teamed up with some awesome local companies like Harpoon Brewery, Downeast Cider House, 90+ Cellars and BoLoCo to provide burritos and adult beverages for the party.

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The Sweet Song of Success: Music and Productivity

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 5:07:00 PM by Ali Desjardin


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Topics: Music

Maxwell Takes a Stand: 10 Benefits of Standing Workstations

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 10:29:00 AM by Ali Desjardin

Over the past several decades, the US has perpetuated a society of sitters. “Sitter-syndrome” is so common that the thought of standing while working seems too different and, frankly, unrealistic. Though these views still exist in “traditional” workplaces, Maxwell Health has never followed the “traditional” model. At Maxwell, health is central. In an effort to supply a culture of health, employees stand for a large portion of the day. Standing has several benefits, and Maxwell Health is all about benefits.

As an employee at Maxwell Health, I have seen and experienced the positives of standing during the day. (Disclaimer: I am definitely not an anti-sitting lobbyist, but adding a few more hours of standing to my day has really helped.)

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Topics: blog

3 Radical Changes in the Way We Pay for Health Care

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 9:58:47 AM by Ted Phillips


One Medical, a concierge-style primary care practice, touts on-time or early appointment times. (source: One Medical)

Health reform through the ACA has started to change the ways people access health care and affect the relative premium affordability, but what if the underlying setup was the real problem? Why is it that one deductible, or one set of copays, or one plan determines how a patient interacts with and pays for their care? There are a number of innovations happening on the payment side of health care, in the areas of primary care, chronic disease, and large ticket items, but these innovations sometimes struggle under the current plan design setup. This may just be the next wave of disruption in health insurance.

1. Primary Care

Primary care makes up a large part of how most experience health care throughout their lives. A 2010 study outlined that 50% of the population only spends about $250 each year, much of which is on primary care (these include the annual preventative check-up which is now free with the PPACA, late night illness, or bumps and bruises that don’t require an ER trip). One way physicians are disrupting the primary care space is through concierge medicine, where patients pay an annual fee or retainer which may or may not be in addition to other charges.

For that fee, the doctor provides enhanced care, including a principal commitment to limit patient loads to ensure adequate time and availability for each patient. There is a growing number of concierge primary care practices throughout the country (One Medical as an example) that plan to remake the primary care system. However, many still operate with some level of insurance involved. What if they didn’t?

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Topics: aca, ppaca, health care reform, health care, medical tourism, primary care, reference-based pricing

3rd Place is the 2nd Loser: The Plan to Get to #1 in Boston's Best Places to Work

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 1:52:20 PM by Sara Hopson

Last week's Best Places to Work in Boston awards ceremony, hosted by the Boston Business Journal at the Citi Wang Theater (just down the street from our digs!) was fun. It was irreverent, celebratory, and a little off the cuff -- just how we like our award ceremonies/ all out parties. 

When we started the process of applying to the Best Places to Work competition, we were still 25-ish people in a tiny Cambridge "office" (read: slightly converted apartment). As of last week, we're closer to 40 people working out of a beautiful new space in downtown Boston.

But I would argue that the only reason we ended up in 3rd, instead of 21st or not on the list at all is because of what happened in that little, cramped Cambridge office over the past couple years. And it's those lessons we'll take with us into the next year of the Maxwell Health journey (in our shiny new office). Here's how we'll shoot for #1:

Our co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Vinay Gidwaney, at the ceremony (source: BBJ)

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Topics: innovation, transparency, boston, love our team, company culture, startups, our vision

The State of Innovation in Mobile Health and Fitness

Posted on Jun 16, 2014 12:52:00 PM by Meg Murphy

I was so lucky to be able to attend BostInno’s State of Innovation last week with one of our Sales Directors, and my personal favorite healthcare policy geek, Ted Phillips. It was awesome to network with some of Boston’s coolest entrepreneurs, and hear insights directly from thought leaders in the mobile, wearables, and health and wellness spaces.

My favorite panel by far was the State of Innovation in Mobile, moderated by Scott Kirsner from the Boston Globe, and featuring panelists Alec Francesconi, President of Cantina, Brian Suthoff, Chief Strategy Officer of Localytics, Jennifer Lum, Co-Founder of Adelphic Mobile, and Mark Kasdorf, Founder of Intrepid Pursuits (shoutout to one of our awesome customers!). This was a truly interactive, engaging conversation with some of Boston’s most innovative minds in mobile.

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Health Datapalooza 2014: "If you release it, they will come"

Posted on Jun 9, 2014 3:13:00 PM by Taylor Pechacek

Health Datapalooza wrapped up Tuesday night in Washington D.C. with over 1,900 attendees and 80 companies in attendance, as well as a great group of keynote speakers. On the first day, leaders like Todd Park, the White House CTO, Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth, and even the Right Honorable Jeremy Hunt, MP, UK's Secretary of State for Health, emphasized their commitment to liberating health data, advocating for healthcare innovation, and focusing on a more consumer-driven health model. The second day featured insights on the future of health from Vinod Khosla, and a standing ovation for Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human services, when she took the main stage.

In only its fifth year, it’s interesting to note that nearly two-thirds of the attendees were there for the first time. The “open data” movement is quickly gaining attention and momentum.

One of Health Datapalooza’s biggest announcements was the launch of open FDA, which unleashed a huge dataset of over 3 million adverse drug event reports into the public domain, representing a commitment to transparency in health data. Over the past four years, an unprecedented amount of data has been released to the public for free from government organizations.

One theme I found especially interesting throughout the conference was the faith that large incumbents, government organizations especially, had a lot to gain by unlocking and liberating all their health data to the public. The new philosophy is that this data should be accessible, machine-readable, and connected in the hopes that entrepreneurs and companies would develop unique solutions to answer consumer needs. It seemed as though the mantra was "If you release it, they will come."

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Topics: OpenFDA, health datapalooza

Finding the Best New Office Space for Your Startup: How We Did It

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 10:26:00 AM by Kelsey Sullivan

This is the 2nd part of a post about our big move. Read part 1 here.

In this post, our Executive Assistant, Kelsey, reveals the unanticipated struggles associated with finding our new office, and some advice for any startups going through a similar transition. Plus, find out who we worked with in the Boston area to make it all possible!

The hard stuff

Although I’m unspeakably relieved to be in our new space, there were definitely struggles along the way. Two parts of the process were extremely difficult. One was learning the new language and legal requirements that come along with real estate, architecture, and construction. This is something I’d never done before, so there was naturally a huge learning curve. I had to ask a ton of questions and stay patient when I didn’t understand things.

The second hardest part was coordinating all the moving parts. We had a real estate agent, a landlord, an interior designer, an architect, an electrician, and so on. I had to make sure they were all on the same page and same timeline, which proved to be frustrating at times. 

Also, choosing furniture was a surprisingly annoying process. There’s a lot more to it than you would think. For example, in Boston there are strict fire codes that all furniture has to adhere to so it’s not flammable. This means you can’t just go to IKEA and purchase couches, chairs, etc. You really need to do a lot of research before making what you would think are the most “fun” decisions.

We removed a dropped ceiling and had new HVAC installed for a wide open, lighter look. We also brought in two long banks of standing desks and lovely plank flooring (that looks just like real hardwood but is a lot easier to care for).

Time ... is not on your side

The most surprising thing to me about the process was how much time it took. I expected it to be a lengthy process, but “lengthy” doesn’t really begin to accurately describe it. It took about a month to just find the space to begin with. After that, renovations take a long time (nothing like your favorite renovation show on HGTV)! From start to finish, it took us six months to find, renovate, and move in to our new office. For the first three months, I devoted about 25% of my day to focusing on related tasks. For the final three months, it went up to taking about half of my time. In the final week, I really didn’t do anything else, but eat, sleep, and breathe “the new office”. 

If I could do it differently, I would have one physical planner or dedicated online place to keep all information from start to finish. If I had known just how huge of a project this would have been ahead of time, I would have prepared myself more and set myself up to be a bit more organized. Keeping track of all the moving parts would have been easier if I had implemented that sort of system from the beginning.

The added breakout rooms mean we finally have places to take phone calls. How novel!

Don't go it alone

We worked with so many great people that helped make what seemed like an impossible task into an incredible result, all within our strict timeframe. We worked with T3, a real estate service that specializes in technology startups and their specific needs. Right off the bat, we knew Jon, Ashley, and the team there would be a great fit for us. They helped us make all the hard decisions and put up with our (sometimes crazy-seeming) requests and needs. They patiently showed us about 20 spaces before we decided on 131 Tremont. After they found us the space, they walked us through the entire renovation process from start to finish.

For our interior design, we worked with Creative Office Pavillion, who helped take our vision from our heads to paper. They worked closely with us, the architect, and the landlord to figure out a design and layout for the space, and then created a timeline for us to get moved in by our hard deadline of March 31. They also helped us choose our furniture, most of which we ordered through Herman Miller.

So what have we learned?

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Topics: boston, startups, office, employee satisfaction