FY15 Priority Initiatives
SUMAR has identified the following key initiatives for FY15 and is committed to supporting departments' leadership of each effort:
In the second year of this planned three-year project, the Emergency Preparedness effort will update emergency preparedness plans, refine resource allocation, and improve Princeton's programs and communications supporting emergency response, including training and continuity of operations plans.
Outreach to key University departments identified as having essential emergency response functions and/or providing services or operations in support of emergency response has begun. A new emergency management website, jointly developed with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), was launched in late-September 2014. The website contains contact information for campus emergency responders and support services, as well as educational videos and information on how to prepare for and act during emergency events. Additionally, classroom-based and instructor-led training on how to prepare for emergencies on campus have been jointly developed by DPS and EHS.
Princeton Prime is a comprehensive multi-year effort to upgrade financial systems to improve the management of budgets and financial processes. The project went live on-schedule and on-budget on July 1, 2014. This effort is expected to yield greater efficiency, promote compliance with approved business practices, and support cost savings efforts. Additionally, the implementation of the University's new chart of accounts, which provides the infrastructure for all institutional budgeting and transactions, provides enhanced reporting and stewardship capabilities. Following the implementation of Prime, the focus now turns to supporting this investment by making enhancements and regularly applying patches and fixes, as they are released by Oracle PeopleSoft.
Human Resources Compensation Strategy
In the third year of this planned four-year project, Human Resources (HR) continues to lead an effort that will enhance the understanding and efficiency of Princeton's job grading process (i.e., the system for assigning compensation levels to the range of University). HR also continues to review every position on campus for grade and title consistency, as well as internal and external salary equity. Approximately 30% of the positions were reviewed in fiscal year 2013 and 25% were reviewed in fiscal year 2014. The remaining 45% will be reviewed in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
Controlling Health Care Costs
In FY15, the University will continue to search for opportunities to control health care costs while minimizing increases in employee contributions or out-of-pocket expenses. To date, the University has 1) implemented changes to its short term disability policy; 2) provided more effective communication to employees about differentials in health care costs and services; 3) introduced more in-network options in the immediate Princeton area; 4) negotiated a lower cost prescription contract; 5) implemented an Employer Group Waiver Plan which enables Princeton to pay the discounted product cost that a pharmaceutical company provides to Medicare for Princeton's retiree prescription use; 6) launched a new health plan, the Princeton Health Plan (PHP), which replaced the former PPO and POS plans offered in 2012 with design features that encourage prevention and proper care for chronic conditions; 7) launched a Consumer Driven Health Plan with a Health Savings Account effective 2015; 8) introduced incentives for diabetes patient management, surgical second opinions, and using centers of excellence for complex surgeries; and 9) incorporated value based design features to the PHP to encourage more in-network utilization where these services are readily available.
The estimated net annual savings from these strategies has already exceeded $1 million, however costs associated with the Affordable Care Act continue to offset these savings. Net annual savings are expected to increase as use of My Health Coach (MHC) and My Medical Expert - Best Doctors (MME) continues to grow. MHC and MME are two health programs offered free to all employees and their dependents to improve the overall health of the University workforce as well as mitigate health care costs. By 2018, the estimated net annual savings from all strategies could be in the range of $3 million.
Given the significance of the health plan excise tax required as of 2018 and the continued increase of Princeton's health care cost trend, the University will continue to carefully review and assess its community health status and delivered health care programs.