Healthcare analytics is an essential part of any robust employee benefits strategy. Employers are using healthcare analytics to check the cost of healthcare coverage they provide to their employees. Self-insured employers are utilizing healthcare data to help their employees access enhanced care at lower costs. They are also keeping an eye on a few key metrics that are similar to those used by hospitals.
The healthcare data they are analyzing might include:
And many more. Healthcare analytics is being increasingly used by employers to make sure that employees have access to the right information and right care. Employees who have a good experience with employer-sponsored healthcare are healthier and more productive. Basically, healthcare analytics can be a bridge between employee satisfaction and employee health.
Let’s take a look at what else healthcare analytics offers:
Healthcare Analytics Offers an Inclusive View
An individual’s health and wellness level can’t be determined based on just one data source or a single claim. Let’s say an employee who enjoys running ends up with a knee injury. Now, this employee has had a few claims in the past due to musculoskeletal issues. Anyone looking at this person’s claims data will think that ‘’Here we have a high-cost claimant.’’
But what is missing here is the larger picture. If healthcare data, wellness program participation, and biometrics data had been reviewed, it would have been easy to assess a person’s efficiency and productivity. That’s why it is important to have an inclusive view when assessing employee benefits’ utilization. A robust health analytics platform integrates various data sources and helps employees access data insights.
Healthcare Analytics Helps Identify Opportunities
Healthcare analytics is not just about data mining and seeing how things are going. A strong healthcare analytics strategy for employers must be focused on finding opportunities for refinement. A benefits data warehouse can really do wonders. A leading healthcare analytics platform must include models and tools to deliver insights so that the employees don’t have to dig in.
It is quite common for pharmaceutical companies to combine two drugs into a pill. Such combination drugs allow drug manufacturers to apply for patents and make it convenient for patients also. But it is not exactly good news for self-insured employers since these drugs are more expensive than generic drugs that can be taken separately. Now through data models and health analytics, combination drugs can be identified and replaced with generic drugs. This is just an example of what healthcare analytics do to help employers manage costs.
Healthcare Analytics Can Envision the Future
You might have heard the term ‘’predictive analytics.” Quite trendy, but do you know what it means? It broadly means that data analytics can envision the future. Now for hospitals it might mean using data models to analyze symptoms and identify the condition. Employers largely employ it to predict costs for appropriate budgeting.
A risk score is a sound way to assess a member’s health. Each person’s score is based on their health status, demographics, and healthcare utilization. For example, a person with a high-risk score may have a new asthma diagnosis while someone with a risk score on the lower side may have seen the doctor for a seasonal cold. With analytics, it is possible to stratify members based on their risk score and narrow in on diagnosis codes for the high-risk members. This insight can help employers predict costs for high-risk members and plan accordingly.
The Road Ahead