Health Strategy is a Chicago-based company that helps companies create a pharmacy benefits strategy that provides optimum wellness at the most affordable cost.
As a fast-growing company, they’re constantly pitching new prospects and responding to RFPs. Each one of those engagements calls for legal documentation. “When we’re in the prospecting phase, or we're responding to RFPs, there's a confidentiality agreement that has to be signed just for us to be able to get our foot in the door,” says Brandon Clark, Health Strategy’s Chief Operating Officer. “Once that’s signed, and we can talk with them in detail about what it would mean to work together, hopefully that prospective client wants to hire us, and that's when we transition into a services agreement and statement of work, and then depending upon the engagement, possibly a business associates agreement. All of these documents that have to be reviewed, authored, and signed. That's where Sara and her team come in.”
Once the client is on board, though, there’s still more legal work to be cone. “You have to worry about maintaining those documents for the life of that relationship,” Brandon explains. “You have statements of work that can be anything from a couple months to a couple years, but inevitably all those things need to be renewed. There’s so much at stake just in the documentation at the beginning of the client relationship. And for us, Sara and her team are a vital part of starting our client relationships off on the right foot. They help set the tone for how the relationship will go going forward.
“Because you never want to be the consulting firm that sends back a document with 500 red lines on it, right? You want to get it right the first time, because if you’re a pain at the beginning, or you don’t seem like you’ve really got your act together, a client can be more skeptical and can trust you less going forward.”
Once the relationship is established, the Stock Legal team continues to be a key part of the Health Strategy team. “I feel as if Sara’s a Health Strategy employee—and I mean that in the sense that she's got all this subject matter expertise that she's accumulated over the last decade since she started working with us. So there's no knowledge gap,” Brandon says.
“She'll sit in on calls, and she'll announce herself as external counsel, because it's the right thing to do, but if she didn't announce herself as external counsel, no one on the phone would ever know it. It would be very easy to assume that she was Health Strategy’s internal counsel. That's extremely valuable. She will negotiate directly with our client's attorneys and other entities that we interact with just as if she was our internal counsel.”
Before starting at Health Strategy, Brandon had never worked at a firm with external counsel. He didn’t know how other companies’ internal counsel would react to external counsel — and “every one of our clients has internal counsel. But it's a non-event. A lot of that probably has to do with how Sara represents herself, and how Sara's people represent themselves.”
Having external counsel that feels like internal counsel gives Health Strategy means Brandon and his team can be confident that all of their legal bases are covered. “As a company that is really in growth mode, with things happening so fast, it’s just invaluable to have somebody who we can trust like we trust Sara and her team. I mean, every minute I spend looking at things that she's given a thumb's up to is just time wasted.
“That trust is extremely valuable to our business. I don't even know if I could put a price on it. I know that when she gives me a document back and says, ‘Here's the redline. Ship it over to the client,’ I don't lay a second set of eyes on it. I know we’re good. With Sara and the whole Stock Legal team, there is total trust.”
Brandon Clark is the Chief Operating Officer for Health Strategy, a firm that helps clients create a pharmacy benefits strategy that provides optimum wellness at the most affordable cost. Learn more at healthstrategyllc.com.