April 7, 2017

Data Mining Is Easier Than You Think

Have you ever thought about why most health care plans cover preventative services with little cost to the member?

This one is easy – because the preventative services keep members healthy, leading to lower costs in the future. It’s a result carriers, members, and employers all want: lower costs and healthier people. The goal of any self-insured employer should be the same – help employees improve their health. The bonus for employers is also saving costs on their benefit programs.

Data mining is one way employers can identify trends in their employees’ health, find areas for improvement, and make changes that encourage better health behaviors and reduce costs. Here’s how it works: 

  • Analytical software (like the Artemis Platform) aggregates real employee health data
  • Reports help employers determine which diseases, prescriptions, and behaviors are driving high costs or encouraging inefficient use of the benefit plan
  • Employers target new programs or better messaging to employees needing the most care (i.e. those who visit the ER instead of using a telemedicine program)

Here’s a real-world example of how it works. An Artemis customer with 7,000 employees found that 18 employees were taking prescription fish oil and it was being covered by the employer’s prescription benefit. Artemis Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Rance Hutchings recommended the organization require prior authorization for prescription fish oil unless:

A)   The patient had a triglyceride level above 500

B)   The patient had a clinical reason they could not try equally effective over-the-counter products.

This simple change resulted in 113% of Artemis cost saved by this employer. In this case, data mining gave the employer insight into an overspending situation, identified a solution, and helped the client message the change to employees without sacrificing the quality of care. 

Many employers rely on skilled analysts and consultants to do the heavy lifting of data mining for them. They run complex, time-consuming and customized reports using data warehousing software. They spend valuable time making recommendations and visualizations to help employers understand how to make smart benefits decisions.

The Artemis Platform does this automatically using a series of apps to track inefficient Rx spending, evaluate wellness programs, easily create visualizations, and much more. Data mining doesn’t have to be done with sophisticated, complex software programs by experts – its power is available to consultants and benefits teams in an easy-to-use, efficient platform.

With the Artemis Platform, maybe we should call it “data rock collecting” instead of “data mining.”

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