How Data Analytics Saved $300M in Health Care Costs

How can employers mitigate the escalating costs of health care while providing a benefits program that meets the needs of their employees? By becoming data rich and making data analytics meaningful to their workforce.

Meaningful and Actionable Data

Over the past decade at EMC we have created a center of knowledge through the use of aggregate healthcare data analytics. This holistic approach provides us with business intelligence, insights into the overall health of the population, as well as the ability to measure ongoing results.

Today, through the use of a central data repository (a third party data warehouse) we are data rich and have clarity on the health of the population, consumption of healthcare services, and EMC’s overall healthcare spend. This knowledge enables us to focus on targeted health programs relevant to our population, which drives engagement and health literacy.

Data provides insight into our collective Medical, Behavioral Health, Prescription, Disability, Workers Compensation, Vision, and Dental claims. On a quarterly basis, aggregate data is analyzed to indicate the prevalence of chronic conditions and areas of risk. From this analysis, health management programs are developed and delivered to our 25,000+ U.S.-based employees and their dependents.

A quarterly scorecard with aggregate information provides the Benefits team and senior management with a dashboard style view of:

  • Total healthcare cost with two previous years of historical cost data
  • Average cost per capita and per capita cost percentage increase
  • Overall cost broken down by type – medical, pharmacy, behavioral and vision, and disability
  • Employees overall out of pocket cost by claim category
  • Demographics
  • Out of pocket costs which includes co-pays, deductibles, and employee contributions
  • Top 10 Hospitals/providers and diagnostic categories
  • Top 10 Drugs and Therapeutic Classes
  • Prescription Drug Formulary Distribution
  • Short Term and Long Term Disability utilization
  • Short Term Disability Medical Diagnosis
  • Health management programs utilization

The Proof is in the Data

The foundation of future business success is good data and data analytics. Data has a positive impact on population health in all aspects of care, utilization, health outcomes, provider, and health plan performance. Data drives business results fueling the business case for future funding of health initiatives and overall investments in future health management strategies, tools, and resources. Employees and family members continue to enjoy rich plan designs, broad networks, and access to quality care, affordable out of pocket costs, and employee contributions. The “nugget” is cost containment, which contributes to shareholder value. Over the past decade, this approach has resulted in over $300M of cost containment for EMC, its employees, and its shareholders.

About the Author: Delia Vetter