Everyone working in healthcare understands the critical role data plays in improving the health and well-being of patients. The healthcare industry is increasingly relying on data to make sound decisions in a number of arenas:
Essentially, if you aren’t taking a data-driven approach to healthcare strategy, you’re being left behind.
At Artemis Health, we believe employee benefits professionals deserve an effortless user experience because they need to spend time making decisions, not navigating through complex software. They deserve “at your fingertips” content, reduced friction with data analytics, and the ability to meet their organization’s unique business needs.
Today, we’ll share six characteristics that every benefits analytics solution should offer to employers and advisors. We call it our “manifesto,” our line in the sand that shows the value analytics should offer to benefits teams. We believe everyone who works to improve healthcare through employee benefits should look for these characteristics when partnering with a benefits analytics solution.
Think about the best pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. They likely offered just the right mix of style, comfort, price, and durability. You could wear them anywhere, and they lasted for years without causing blisters or falling apart. Maybe you were impressed that an inexpensive pair became your favorite, or maybe you splurged on a well-built shoe and were pleased it was worth the money. In other words, these shoes offer you a value opportunity.
Value can be calculated with a simple equation:
Maximum quality + minimum cost = value
The healthcare industry faces this equation constantly. Healthcare must balance the quality piece of the puzzle with updated treatment protocols, physician quality ratings, regular screenings for common diseases, and new miracle drugs. On the other hand, healthcare is increasingly expensive for both payers and patients, and the system struggles to eliminate wasteful spending, identify inefficiencies, and make sure all patients have the financial means to access care.
This same equation is a balancing act for self-insured employers, who take on the full weight of rising healthcare costs and improving employee health. They must find the right mix of attractive, comprehensive benefits for employees to help them retain talent. But they also must consider annual budgets for costs that are hard to predict (and often out of control).
Employers also realize that sometimes “you have to spend money to make money,” or in their case, spend money to achieve better healthcare. They partner with vendors like diabetes care management programs or musculoskeletal health programs to tackle common conditions, and that takes an investment on their part.
This is where a data analytics partnership can help employers find the “value equation.” A great benefits analytics solution will help you balance costs with quality, and find out if your efforts are working to deliver value to your members. Investing in programs doesn’t have to be a gamble if you’re tracking the right metrics, making the business case with data, and monitoring engagement to show the value.
Benefits professionals are busy people. When we ask employers how many people work on their benefits team, we often hear, “Ha! It’s just me and an HR field rep at each worksite.” These teams serve thousands of employees, helping them enroll in benefits, make the right elections for their families, and find access to care through their programs.
Mining benefits data for reliable insights is no simple task, and even seasoned analysts are used to their efforts taking hours. Employers who work with consultants and brokers often have a leg up, but the amount of work involved makes it difficult for consultants to offer the same level of service to their entire book of business. Benefits leaders are expert multi-taskers, but they can’t be expected to manage vendors, support members, report to the C-suite, retain talent, stay ahead of compliance issues, AND spend hours or weeks finding insights in their healthcare data.
That’s where a robust benefits analytics solution really comes in handy. First, your data solution should gather all your reporting and data sources in one place. This can be a slow task for employers or brokers outside of a software solution. You’re looking at dozens of data sources, from medical and prescription drug claims to weight loss programs to health risk assessment surveys. A benefits analytics partnership should gather all these data in one place, make it quick and easy to search for answers, and offer fast answers to those on-the-fly questions from the C-suite.
We recently spoke to Jason Parrott, formerly the leader of well-being and healthcare at Boeing about this.
“One of the misconceptions about analytics is that it’s perceived that it requires an inordinate amount of time. In reality, what we’ve learned through Artemis is it shouldn’t have to take 3 to 4 weeks and 6 people to run reports. Artemis’ uber-simple platform enables anybody, and I mean anybody, to tap in and get analytical reports that are meaningful, useful, actionable, and timely.”
- Jason Parrott, SVP of Enterprise Growth and Partnerships at Vida Health
Here’s an example from the Artemis Platform. Customers, whether they’re self-insured employers or consultants in the industry, appreciate the immediate overviews offered by Standard Stories.
These out-of-the-box reports answer key questions like:
Artemis offers these Standard Stories on a variety of hot topics for employers and their advisors, and they include easy filtering and customization options. While they offer the fastest view of many benefits metrics, there are also quick ways to dive deeper with benefits data. Many benefits analytics tools allow users to build custom dashboards and reports. Artemis does the same, so those who want to dive deeper can build Custom Stories.
We truly believe every data analytics solution should offer these two advantages to users, plus many more. Data should offer you the opportunity to create value, efficient, and effective employee benefits, and it should be fast to find the answers you need to make good decisions.