“Which health conditions are likely to affect our workforce the most?”
“Where can employees get top-level medical care at the best prices?”
“Which workers are at risk for becoming seriously ill?”
“How can we identify avoidable spending patterns?”
“How can we get at-risk patients into early treatment?”
These are some of the key questions HR & Benefit leaders responsible for delivering health insurance for the organization’s employees would like to answer in a timely and effective manner.
One of the biggest concerns for many companies today is whether they’re getting real value on their health plans, which are provided by Healthcare Research and Analytics. However, HR and benefits manager’s ability to collect, analyze, and act on benefits and cost-related metrics is often limited (more so in small and midsize organizations).
That’s because much of the data comes from vendors that may provide information in different formats and because there are several laws and regulations—including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and the Affordable Care Act—that make it difficult for an employer to contact an employee directly about his or her health risks and suggest treatment.
This is further exasperated by the fact the technology systems currently used to deliver healthcare and benefits-related information are cumbersome and complicated. In terms of utilizing analytics to drive down costs and increase efficiency, healthcare has lagged other areas of the HR organization in terms of actionable analytics.
This is mainly driven by the fact that data on healthcare spend is not available for dynamic analysis until well after the fact. This results in a situation where even though healthcare is a top business cost; it’s not a top area of focus — most employers end up being in the dark as to what is driving their healthcare trend or what they can do about it.
Thanks to advances in Big Data, HR and senior management now can use Healthcare Research and Analytics data to make informed choices, meet business objectives, improve benefits coverage for employees, and drive down healthcare costs. However, big data doesn’t just appear in front of a company in a usable form. Organizations still need to invest in a combination of technology and data science capability to help shift through the enormous amount of information out there to harvest actionable insights.
With the right combination of technology, data science expertise, and functional knowledge at their disposal, HR Leaders and Benefits managers can truly disrupt healthcare provisioning for employees and achieve:
- Effective population health risk management
- Optimized healthcare expenditure and cost control
- Better management of employee health initiatives
- Improved employee productivity and engagement