Case Studies

Huffines Auto

Transparency in Healthcare: Making the Switch

At a glance

Huffines Auto Dealerships, Plano, TX
Automotive Dealership Sales & Service
Covered Employees
Dallas / Fort Worth Region

Founded in 1924, Huffines has grown from one location in downtown Denton, TX, to nine locations across Plano, Denton, Lewisville and McKinney. The self-insured family-run company was built upon principles of small town friendliness and exceeding customer expectations, a mission that has earned them multiple consumer and business excellence awards. Huffines has also been consistently recognized as a Top 100 places to work by the Dallas Morning News since 2011.


Like many U.S. employers who provide health benefits to their employees, Huffines felt like they were at a disadvantage because of limited insight into charges and network discounts for healthcare services. In 2009, one sizable medical bill set the wheels in motion for them to explore other healthcare options.

Huffines Chief Financial Officer, Eric Hartter, was looking for answers when that $600,000 surgery bill was discounted to “only” $300,000. Hartter knew that a bill of this size for any other area of the business would demand meticulous review and understanding, but in the case of healthcare services, they were not given the information yet were expected to pay the bill. He decided enough was enough — it was time to change how they managed their healthcare costs.


Hartter was open-minded about exploring solutions that would help Huffines contain their healthcare costs. When he learned that ELAP Services conducted line-by-line audits of medical bills for self-insured employers, he knew he had to learn more. ELAP’s reference-based pricing model was appealing because it started with the cost of the service and added a profit margin to reach an amount that was fair and reasonable for employers, members and health systems.

Using the specific metrics under ELAP’s reference-based pricing model, the $600,000 claim was valued at $28,900. The significant cost savings on this one claim convinced Hartter that ELAP Services could provide the cost-saving solution that Huffines needed, while also delivering prompt and fair payment to their medical providers.

Further research revealed that ELAP backs their audit recalculations with strong member advocacy services and legal expertise. That advocacy and service for the Huffines’ team members, combined with the value of the ELAP solution, convinced them to make the switch.


The ELAP solution has reduced Huffines’ healthcare spend, freeing up more dollars for them to invest into their business, their team members and other initiatives.

Since adopting the ELAP solution, their employee’s healthcare costs have stayed flat or increased modestly for the same level of benefits.

ANNUAL SAVINGS 25% vs. traditional PPO model
TOTAL SAVINGS $31 Million since adopting ELAP’s solution

“This is the best form of true healthcare reform I’ve come across. When the original surgery bill was reduced to $300,000, I said, ‘what’s the difference?’ That still doesn’t make me feel any better.”

Eric Hartter, Chief Financial Officer, Huffines Auto Dealerships

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