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Harness the Power of Your Data: 4 Dimensions of a Good Analytics Solution

With health costs steadily rising and health benefits being the #1 priority when evaluating potential employers, HR administrators and brokers need access to cutting-edge analytics tools now more than ever.

The best analytics tools will enable HR administrators and brokers to assess utilization, identify cost drivers and understand trends that are taking place within their health plans. They should also provide insights on how a health plan can be customized to meet the needs of their particular member populations.

So, with so many options in the market, what should brokers and employers look for in an analytics solution? In today’s post, Justin Forton, Vice President of Analytics & Insights at HealthComp, outlines the four dimensions of a powerful analytics solution.

Dimension I: Reporting or Descriptive Analytics

Reporting – or what’s often referred to as “descriptive analytics” – allows brokers and HR administrators to evaluate the performance of their health plan. Reporting should be comprehensive in nature and include a library of standard reports, including census, paid claims, and plan cost summary reports.

Administrators and brokers should also have access to on-demand reporting, which enables users to generate reports “on the fly” using real-time data. Flexibility is key, and the most robust solutions will include options for user to customize reports by date range and other variables. Users should also have the ability to schedule reports to be generated at regular intervals. Lastly, security protocols must also be in place so only users with designated permission have access to protected health information (PHI).

Dimension II: Dashboard & Drill-down Capabilities

While reporting enables users to review past plan performance, analytics provide insights to improve future performance. Essentially, analytics enable administrators and brokers to turn big data into actionable insights that can optimize their healthcare spend and the overall health of their population. The most effective analytics solutions present plan data in a dashboard format that displays key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics. Displaying these data points on one screen provides a snapshot of what’s happening with a plan’s health care spend.

HealthComp has built several proprietary dashboards to help administrators and brokers monitor the performance of a plan, including metrics on utilization, network penetration, high-cost claimants, costs or claims by age range, and costs or claims by providers.

Dashboards should be user-friendly and provide users with the ability to click on a data point to “drill-down” and view more detailed information contributing to a particular statistic. For example, to analyze its health care spend, an employer can review their claims broken down by month. To determine what led to an increase in spending during a particular month, they can drill-down into the data, and determine that that additional claims came from a newly added work location or from employees who had to undergo cancer treatment. This is one example of how a good analytics solution can empower an HR administrator or broker to better understand the cost drivers behind their health care spend.

The landing page of HealthComp’s analytics solution includes a dashboard that provides a high-level overview of a health plan’s performance. Users can adjust the date range and view the number of claims, total paid claims, and the percentage change over the previous year. For instance, a group may observe a 2% drop in claims volume in the current versus previous year, but a 5% increase in the total amount spent. In this way, the dashboard begins to tell a story about the group’s healthcare spend and drives insights.

Dimension III: Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a practice of comparing one organization’s performance with others in aggregate. In order for benchmarking to be accurate, multiple organizations must agree to contribute their data so they can understand what metrics constitute “peak performance” and what best practices result in that level of performance.

The most effective analytics solutions will incorporate trusted benchmarking measurements, such as the John Hopkins Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). This enables brokers and employers to compare their plan performance to other plans and determine if they have room for improvement and, if so, how much improvement is achievable.
Dimension IV: Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics

The fourth dimension is predictive and prescriptive analytics. Predictive analytics utilizes big data to forecast what might happen in the future, while prescriptive analytics goes a step further, suggesting a course of action that could produce a more positive end result.

One of the ways HealthComp has incorporated predictive and prescriptive analytics is to identify potentially at-risk and high-cost populations, such as diabetic patients, and determine if they have been compliant with treatment guidelines. For example, a plan may identify plan members diagnosed with diabetes who have not regularly undergone HBA1c testing. Predictive models identify this non-compliant group as at risk of incurring potentially high-cost health services. In terms of prescriptive analytics, members who are identified as non-compliant could be referred to our disease management program to help them better manage their diabetes.

The predictive model can also forecast costs likely to be incurred by non-compliant members. For example, if a non-compliant member renews his plan, the system would project that he could cost the plan $68,000 over the following year due to risks associated with his health condition(s), his pattern of accessing medical services, and his history of non-compliance with treatment guidelines. Armed with this information, the HR administrator may decide that this member is a promising candidate for disease management programs and strategies.

Amplifying Performance into the Future

A good analytics solution harnesses big data and breaks it down into actionable insights that actually improve a health plan’s performance. Brokers and employer groups will better understand where their healthcare dollars are going and how they can optimize their plan design to streamline spending and improve the health of their population. They can also use this data to evaluate wellness and disease management programs to help address problem areas. To ensure you’re leveraging a powerful and smart analytics solution, be sure that your solution includes the four dimensions outlined in this article.

Chad Harris

Chief Executive Officer

 

Chad Harris serves as the CEO of HealthComp and is a value-driven healthcare leader with over twenty years of experience running business process and information technology businesses as a senior executive. Chad has a reputation for creating and controlling rapid growth by focusing on the intersection of customers, market dynamics, and the new digital world.

 

Chad has held many senior executive positions and led global teams of more than 10,000 people across dozens of counties. Chad has grown both large and small businesses, from those with less than $100M of revenue to those producing multiple billions of revenue, focusing on delivery, customer satisfaction, and innovation to create market leadership.

 

Chad's philosophy is to inspire change by doing what comes naturally, putting the needs of others before his own, working incredibly hard, and focusing on "how" to accomplish things, never "if they can be accomplished."

Thomas Martel

Chief Growth Officer

 

Tom serves as the Chief Growth Officer at HealthComp. In this role, Tom focuses on strategic initiatives aimed at accelerating HealthComp’s growth nationwide. His passion lies in assessing market and enterprise structures and creating efficiencies that enable teams to deliver best-in-class performance.

 

Previously, Tom led Cigna’s largest employer segment, largest region which was comprised of several health plans including the two largest health plans. He worked closely with Market Presidents and their leadership teams to develop and execute local market strategy and deliver growth for the enterprise. Tom earned his degree from Saint Anselm College and holds certifications from The Wharton School and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. In his spare time, he enjoys sailing and holds a Master Captain’s license with the U.S. Coast Guard. He is also active in community outreach programs including local food bank and shelter services.

Sanoj Balakrishnan

Chief Technology Officer

 

Sanoj Balakrishnan serves as the Chief Technology Officer at HealthComp. In this role, he oversees the company’s overall technology strategy and architecture, building secure and highly scalable distributed systems.

 

Most recently, Sanoj served as Head of Healthcare Digital Business and Technology at Cognizant, working with payers and providers in developing solutions that reduced healthcare costs and provided a best-in-class experience for members. Earlier in his career, he worked at technology organizations in a variety of software engineering and architecture roles. Sanoj earned his B.S. from University of Mumbai and Computer Systems Management from National Institute of Information Technology.

Justin Tran

Executive Vice President, Product

 

Justin serves as the Executive Vice President of Product at HealthComp. He has 8 years of experience in developing and delivering solutions that reduce health care costs, improve quality, and provide a best-in-class experience for members. Most recently, Justin was an Associate Partner and business unit leader at McKinsey & Company where he helped large carriers and healthcare technology companies build new clinical services and solutions for fraud, waste, and abuse. Justin earned his B.S. in Accounting and Data Informatics from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Tucker Stein

Chief Financial Officer

 

Tucker serves as the Chief Financial Officer of HealthComp. Tucker previously worked for The Boeing Company in a number of finance and strategy roles, most recently as a finance lead for the Transactions and New Business Development group. In this role, Tucker led investments and strategic partnerships for Boeing’s Space and Communications portfolio. Tucker earned his MBA at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and his Bachelors of Science at the University of Redlands.

Tom Georgouses

General Counsel

 

Tom is involved in multiple areas of HealthComp including Operations, Compliance and Legal Affairs. Tom was admitted to the California Bar in 1990 and started his legal career with Stammer, McKnight, Barnum and Bailey, LLP. When he left the firm to join HealthComp in 2014, he was the Managing Partner (he had represented HealthComp since 2003). In private practice, Tom’s areas of focus included healthcare and transactional work. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration-Finance from California State University Fresno and received his Juris Doctorate from San Joaquin College of Law.

Rishab Bansal

Chief Transformation & Operations Officer

 

Rishab serves as the Chief Transformation & Operating Officer at HealthComp. Rishab focuses on transforming and modernizing HealthComp’s operations to provide delightful and distinctive experiences to its members, providers, and clients. His agenda includes integrating all entities towards a One HealthComp vision, driving profitable growth, and delivering value and business outcomes.

 

In his former work over the last 2 decades, he has helped clients across industries to transform themselves by bringing industry-leading practices and digital and data-led disruption. As the trusted advisor to the C-suite, Rishab helped his clients leapfrog on their transformation journey to accelerate business outcomes and helped them unlock new opportunities to drive profitable growth, profitability, and enhanced experience for their employees and clients.


Elaine Davis

Chief Human Resources Officer

 

Elaine Davis serves as CHRO for HealthComp. Elaine previously served as CHRO for Continuum Global Solutions and has served in executive leadership positions for Xerox and GlaxoSmithKline. Elaine holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.