Just as it plays into your personal or family budget, the cost of care greatly affects the business owner. Employee benefits are, in most cases, the second-largest expense for employers and the costs continue to rise. As health care costs grow faster than inflation, if you’re in charge of your business’ finances, now’s a good time to ensure you’re spending money on the right aspects of care and not overspending when and where you don’t have to. The only surefire way to do this is through data and analytics. Reporting and analysis helps self-funded groups understand the total cost of care and can create a roadmap for ways to lower costs. For fully funded groups, reporting and analysis can help shed light on the overall health of their population and provide recommendations for managing costs.
If you’re not tracking, consider the following as reasons to engage in an accurate, timely tracking tool to see your populations’ health status, as well as its price tag.
Understand employees’ essential health needs.
Does your population use a crazy amount of tobacco? Does high blood pressure run rampant among your teams? Do you find the number of employees with pre-diabetes staggering? Is it high time for a fitness challenge? You can’t begin to uncover the answers to these questions without data. Every employee is different, and many have health needs; analytics help you determine patterns while protecting personal health information to help you understand which health needs to address.
Provide the right resources for your employees.
Remember, it’s imperative to your employees and your bottom line that you provide not just any resources, but the right resources to get and keep your employees healthy. This is where having the right reporting can help you understand what your population is at risk for. For instance, while a weight-loss challenge is a great idea (and arguably vital to your healthy work culture), it doesn’t answer for smoking cessation. If for some reason you have more smokers than overweight employees, a lack of tobacco cessation programs could be a costly oversight.
Pinpoint wasteful spending.
Traditional wellness programs are thought to be beneficial if the budget is available, but today’s wellbeing programs, if successfully administered, are worth their weight in gold. If you can’t measure whether or not your program is working, you might be throwing away money. Likewise, ER visits aren’t cheap. In fact, they’re among the most expensive health expenses. Analytics shows employers how many staffers are staying (or overstaying) in the ER. You can’t spot wasteful spending quickly and effectively without the numbers at your fingertips. Remember: the better the data, the faster you can spot overspending and implement solutions that work best for your employees and your business.
Manage prescription costs.
If there’s a common theme in this story, it’s this: health care is expensive. Our monetary motif is especially true when it comes to prescription medications. Prescription costs are soaring, and they’re not slowing down anytime soon. That said, wouldn’t you want to know what your company is spending on scripts? And how do you find out? You guessed it: data.
At Priority Health, we recently invested in an employer reporting system called Employer Insights. Our exciting new system includes a web-based reporting tool that’s more accurate and timely than our previous solution so employers can put all their data in one place and print reports immediately. Employer Insights also includes consultative services with our analytics team so employers have real people helping them spot trends and find solutions.