Lockton Benefit Group, the employee benefit consulting operation of insurance broker Lockton Companies, has appointed John Esslinger as the firm's new medical director.

The company said that employers will be able to call on Mr Esslinger’s extensive experience in health management, wellness and newborn child care to help improve the health of their employee groups and deal with rising healthcare costs.

Mr Esslinger joins Lockton after serving the past four years in medical director roles with WellCare Health Plans in Atlanta, Georgia and Tampa, Florida. He has worked with both Medicare and Medicaid issues as well as worked with physician groups and provider networks.

Mr Esslinger has also worked as a medical director for Aetna Healthcare and Paidos Health Management, a firm that specializes in working with sick newborn infants. He served 12 years at Children’s Hospital in Omaha, first as chief of neonatology and then as vice president of medical affairs.

Mr Esslinger is a fellow of the American Board of Pediatrics in both pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine and has a certificate in medical management from the American College of Physician Executives.

Mike Brewer, president of Lockton Benefit Group, said: Dr Esslinger understands the challenges employers face in improving the health and welfare of employees. Our clients and their employees will benefit from his ability to identify trends and plan initiatives that boost health, increase productivity and influence healthcare cost trends.