Group Health Reviews

Updated October 22, 2014
Updated October 22, 2014
177 Reviews
2.4
177 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Group Health CEO Scott Armstrong
Scott Armstrong
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good work/life balance - rarely more than 40hrs/week (in 14 reviews)

  • I loved working for a company that had great ideals, great benefits, and really nice people (in 15 reviews)


Cons
  • This was widely known and nothing was done about it by upper management (in 8 reviews)

  • Wow where do you start with executive leadership (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Reduction in force, uncertainty of future of Group Health

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Liaison Nurse
    Former Employee - Liaison Nurse

    I worked at Group Health full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits. Opportunity to switch positions

    Cons

    I worked in care management-not a clear direction

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to feedback, not march forward with what you think is the best paln

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Patient Access Representative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Patient Access Representative in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Patient Access Representative in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Group Health full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful staff, flexibility in accommodating personal schedule with work hours, patient-focused providers.

    Cons

    Job stability, regular changing of infrastructure resulting in reduced staffing and then massive re-hiring later, training not always applicable to position hired for.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Great place to work in less economically competitive times, excellent benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Group Health full-time

    Pros

    Excellent medical benefits, good training for employees, employees fairly compensated, nice facilities.

    Cons

    With economic downturn came increasing demands, increased duties, job cuts with centralization/outsourcing. Cost of healthcare for members rose sharply in recent years, resulting in loss of members, increasing necessity for reorganization/job cuts/centralizing/outsourcing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Return to more employee-friendly, less corporate-minded attitude, return to more competitive healthcare rates, reduce use of outside business consultants.

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  5.  

    Quality staff dedicated to the mission, sadly run by executives out of touch with the reality of delivery.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Group Health part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful coworkers and pockets of people who really care about the mission and delivering great care. A fantastic maternal child program built by caring nurses delivering the lowest cost and best quality inpatient OB in the state.

    Cons

    Continuous reorg with very poor decision making. In the last year there was either a stalemate of middle level managers making quick decisions since they knew they were being cut or failing to make decisions or make waves because they might be seen as a problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Break down the silos of communication. Too many departments playing on different teams with different priorities, pooor communication, poor respect for each other, poor sharing of resources. The decision to relocate FBU will be a hugely costly one for you that I fear will kill you. You will NEVER replace the culture of low intervention resulting in lowest cost care. Nurses deliver that, not your physicians.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    The ultimate nw culture with mobsters and golfers running the place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Group Health full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The history of GH.
    The business model - nonprofit plan + care

    Cons

    Leadership is disingenuous, confused and bullying.
    The culture is non confrontational to a fault due to micromanagement and lack of trust
    Terror of leadership leads to conformity and an inability to make decisions
    Top down controlling management leads to small span of control for workers
    Lack of support from direct managers
    Tightwads in random ways (no money for team events, very little for training)
    Siloed overly complex operations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of the details
    Back your people
    Invest in your people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    I would have second thoughts about working here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Group Health full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pay is under local pay scales, but not terribly under. Benefits are decent, but not outstanding, and don't really make up for the shortfall on the pay. You'd expect better healthcare benefits from a company like this, but they were pretty much average, if not slightly costly compared to others. Some small patches of teams or individuals who care and will go out of their way to help - but that is not the norm.

    Cons

    Leadership and communication is atrocious. Immediate supervisor or manager may be decent, but there are a lot of very unqualified individuals at that level even. Going "up" the ladder and you run into more people who seem to only have the positions they have due to their tenure here. Leaders will ignore you, even when you have simple questions like "What are my responsibilities and my title now?". If your position is being moved to a new manager or department, it'll be a mess and no one will have any information for you - you'll have new expanded responsibilities (likely while holding onto most of your old ones), no pay increase (there's not budget for it) and no other benefits - not even a new title to put on your resume.
    A new CIO was brought on board, who immediately began efforts to "reduce cost" and "centralize". While enjoying her high salary, (and going to multiple conferences within just a couple of weeks after starting) it was the workers who get snubbed. Massive "reapply" processes where suddenly FTE positions are not available. But there's job listings for those same positions. All the while, the new CIO also brought in Gartner at who knows what total cost to the company. Probably a couple of FTEs right there. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone who looked up this new CIO - it seems to be her M.O. Most of this is conjecture of course, as there was absolutely zero communication from the CIO, executive VPs, directors or managers about what was going on.
    Through these efforts, many, many good people were laid off, or left on their own accord before being shown the door. I suspect in most cases this is a blessing in disguise.
    A lot of teams shutter the doors and try to protect their turfs while this goes on - especially since no clear direction is set beyond "reduce cost". This is understandable and an easily avoidable problem, but is a small example of how things just work at GHC. I don't see or hear about anyone of these "leaders" taking a pay cut or in any way changing their positions to "reduce cost" - just heads of actual workers rolling.
    This is the "new" group health way. As leadership cements in place even more, I don't see things getting shaken up unless they end up getting bought out (more on that in a bit).
    While this is mostly "doom and gloom", I can say that my time at GHC was decent. It was a pay check, pretty average when it comes to workload and expectations. A lot of teams are understaffed, but there are pockets of people who still kick butt and go way beyond reason to help anyone and everyone. Having to constantly worry if the next call or email is you needing to reapply is slightly distracting though.
    GHC may be able to turn the ship around. There are a lot of new people and programs in place, and if they actually execute on them, could be beneficial. From what I've seen and heard over the past few years though, I have my suspicions that these programs will fizzle out, and be abandoned. Others on here have mentioned that ITIL, Agile, LEAN and so on have been keywords thrown around here - that is exactly true. Leaders like to pretend these processes are in place and used, but they are not - at all. A new Enterprise Architecture program is underway, so we'll have to see if that takes hold at all.
    I presume that due to GHC's market position, they will continue to hemorrhage members over the next several months, continuing the financial losses, and causing more changes ("cost cutting"). They are just getting beaten on the market, and rightfully so. From the IT standpoint, they are still trending way behind modern systems and design goals. The "new" data center they are moving to and building out is already outdated. I'm glad I won't have anything to do with it.. Maybe they are trying to get bought out (pure speculation on my part).

    If you need a stepping stone, or are in serious trouble and need a job, GHC might not be too bad for you. I would not consider this a "career" company - or even a 3 year company. If you come in, plan on exiting in 12 months or less. Soak up the benefits, take every second of your PTO, and get out quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management didn't care to listen to any employee while I was there, I'm certain they won't read this and give it any consideration.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Use to be!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technologist in Olympia, WA
    Former Employee - Technologist in Olympia, WA

    I worked at Group Health full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Work/life balance allowed for a quality life outside of the work environment
    Innovation in the healthcare industry
    Organization to be proud of
    Benefits

    Cons

    GH used to be a great place to work; that is if you were in the "in" group. If you weren't or fell out of the "in" group, you were bullied until you left. The supervisor in my department would enlist help from lead technologists to harass, change shifts and overwork those he wanted gone. Leads were all to willing to accommodate his wishes so they could hire friends or fellow coworkers from other organizations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management needs to take a long, hard look at the organizational culture; which is a top/down hierarchical structure and reevaluate their mission. The morale of the workforce is suffering and the reputation of the organization is no longer one of integrity. Since the down turn in the economy, many organizations have successfully downsized and restructure; GH is not one of them. Employees are no longer engaged and patients can see this in their providers, many employees are barely hanging on with the increased demands of the patient load. If management does not change their leadership styles this organization will continue to decline in quality. Good employees should be valued as assets, not liabilities.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Great front-line workers and managers, awful senior leadership who are running the company into the ground.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Group Health full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The vision of the medical staff and front-line workers is truly inspiring. The benefits and salary are great.

    Cons

    Senior leadership has run the company into the ground, and try to resolve the problem by laying off and rearranging lower-level leaders and the front line staff who actually do the work. The CEO and all VPs and the Board need to go or the company is going to go under. The senior leadership is dishonest, interested in protecting themselves only, and willing to do anything to get personally ahead. I have worked directly with many of them and find it difficult to be proud of my company when the upper level leadership has so little integrity. It's a shame, because the majority of the workers are solid and dedicated, but until there is upper-level change the company will not improve. When they do bring in new senior leaders, they bring in those with little experience who are easily swayed and follow the instructions of the entrenched senior leadership. I would not suggest anyone work here at this time.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's time for change at Group Health. And I don't mean laying off and rearranging the front-line staff, providers who actually see patients, or front-line managers. Get rid of 2/3 of the VPs, the CEO who has literally destroyed the company, and the Board who clearly won't step in no matter how bad things get. The Board has trusted in the wrong people and seem unable or unwilling to take any action to make actual change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    This was a great place to work until 3 years ago

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Pharmacist in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Pharmacist in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Group Health full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good work/life balance - rarely more than 40hrs/week
    Fair compensation - not the highest rate, but definitely not the lowest

    Cons

    Restructure, restructure, restructure- I've had more managers (come/go) then the number of years I have worked for the company
    Less to do more- less people to serve more patients
    Horrible insurance for employees - I pay 2-3 times for more an Rx than most of my patients, high premium and deductible (considering I work for the insurer) and can only see GH doctors
    Archaic technology - we have Epic, but still use software from the 1970's for most services in Lab and Pharmacy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thin out the management situation- we have so many in upper management that the average employee doesn't even know what they do or are responsible for
    Staffing- this is healthcare and constantly being understaffed is causing an unsafe and stressful environment for patients and staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Great company, discombobulated management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst III in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Analyst III in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Group Health full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    I loved working for a company that had great ideals, great benefits, and really nice people.

    Cons

    A lot of the management at HQ stayed way past their expiration date, reinforcing stale processes because 'change is scary'. New management faced obstacles from a deeply entrenched old-school system, which ensured anything that needed to get done would take twice as long as it should.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you've been there for longer than 20 years, it's time to go. You're drowning the company with your ennui and fear of change.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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