Your employees know the value of shopping around. They do it themselves. Consumers spend an average 79 days researching before they make a major purchase, yet once a year, they’re expected to tick a box that will determine how much they pay for their most critical purchases, trusting that their employers have chosen a benefits plan that won’t leave them second-guessing whether they should get needed care.
One of the most powerful ways that employers can build effective benefits programs their employees want is by developing a data and analytics strategy that shows exactly where their money is going. There’s a rich environment of data to draw from: claims data, electronic medical records, care management, social and wearable data, biometrics, wellness programs. Unfortunately, for the more than half of employers who are fully insured, their data is typically owned by the carriers they work with — and the carriers don’t have much incentive to share that data. Any efforts to reduce the amount that insureds pay in premiums will directly impact carriers’ bottom lines. Relying on carriers’ altruism will leave most employers waiting indefinitely.
You Can’t Impact The Past: ↑ Advocacy + ↑ Quality = ↓ Cost
Thursday, May 20, 2021, 2:00 PM ET / 11 AM PT
Unlike most things, healthcare services have an inverse relationship between cost and quality: the better the quality, the lower the cost. Unfortunately, the current health benefits market is completely opaque and lacking any meaningful, realistic transparency. Additionally, we have always been taught that easy = better when designing health benefits programs for employers and their employees. However, the cost and quality of healthcare can vary dramatically within the same city. Utilization Management for example, where your members access healthcare, is one of the single most important additions to your health plan design.
Employers need to take back control of their data, and there are an increasing number of players ready to help them do that. The healthcare analytics market, already worth $11.59 billion in 2018, is facing a potential 27.5% CAGR over the next five years, according to Fortune Business Insights. That means healthcare analytics could be an $80 billion market by 2026.
Although there are some concerns about privacy and security of sensitive health information, consumers are ready for change. Focus groups conducted by Pew Charitable Trusts found participants “overwhelmingly supported greater access to data both for health care providers and for themselves.”
Gregg Peterson, president and CEO of Insurance Program Managers Group, notes that much of an employee’s health data is personal and protected from this kind of use, but “employers can still identify trends within certain demographic groups or employee populations and modify plan offerings to incentivize change using data to encourage happier, healthier employees.”