Just as more patients are taking control of their health information by bringing personal data from their cell phones or activity trackers into their doctor’s appointments, more employers are using mobile, data analytics and personalized consumer portals to engage with employees and evaluate the effectiveness of the benefits plans they offer.
Employers are also scanning data for ways to save money, especially on high-cost claimants. Eighty-three percent of HR practitioners say the only way to lower costs and improve financial results is by using advanced analytics to better understand how employees use healthcare services, who high-risk employees are and how to intervene effectively; this is according to a survey by the nonprofit National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.
To address high-cost claimants (who cost an average of $122,382 annually), the American Health Policy Institute suggested in a study last year that employers should develop innovative, data-driven programs that target certain chronic conditions and engage beneficiaries to be active plan participants.
Most human resources departments today know that by better segmenting their employees, they can measure what’s working with their benefits offerings and improve what’s not. But while there’s no shortage of data available, it can be difficult for employers to discern which findings are most actionable and worthy of attention.
That’s why WEX Health developed a new, customizable analytics platform—the WEX Health Cloud Employer Dashboard, now available for all WEX Health Cloud Partners. The dashboard provides numerous highly visual insights into things like how much employees contribute to health accounts, where they’re spending their healthcare funds and exactly how they’re engaging with the healthcare tools offered. By leveraging comparative averages and median benchmarks, the dashboard will also offer companies the opportunity to see how they and their employees stack up against other “like-me” companies in the market. This type of comparative data will prove essential to those employers who want to get a leg up on competitors and to better recruit, support and retain their employees.
Arguably, the most meaningful metric that the new platform introduces is the Health Financial Viability Index, a first-of-its-kind assessment that speaks volumes to an employer about an employee’s ability to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses at any given time. Based on contributions and disbursements since the beginning of the calendar year, values range from 0 to 100, with higher scores reflecting a greater capacity to pay. The value is derived by factoring HSA contributions and disbursements for a given account since the beginning of calendar year, including velocity of contribution, spending and existing balances, where applicable. Think of it as an employee “health score,” similar to consumer credit scores.
If scores are consistently low, employers should look closely at their benefits strategy, benefits communication plan and/or at the ways they are empowering employees to make better, informed healthcare decisions. By focusing on raising their health financial viability scores, employers will be able to differentiate themselves from competitors and to better control healthcare costs.
For more information on the WEX Health Cloud Employer Dashboard, visit the WEX Health Cloud site.