The rising cost of healthcare is a reality that more and more businesses are having to deal with at almost every level, and it’s going to keep demanding attention. Through the year 2025, the aggregate healthcare spend in the United States is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.8%. In light of this, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes are looking for new ways to contain their healthcare costs.
The rise in affordability of health technology aims to fix some of those problems, with many health intelligence companies creating game-changing solutions. But, this category of “health intelligence companies” is just that, a category. There are many different health tech solutions covering a broad spectrum of issues that businesses need help with, but how do these healthcare intelligence software companies actually go about saving money on healthcare? Let’s use Springbuk as an example and quickly go over a few ways that health intelligence companies can help to contain your healthcare costs.
One of the things that employers love the most about Springbuk is its ability to identify, and quantify, gaps in care. In a nutshell, gaps in care are when someone has been diagnosed with a condition, but isn’t following the recommended course of care for it. These gaps have a quantifiable value attached to them that can grow over time if proper treatment isn’t followed. A few of the biggest gaps that Springbuk identifies include:
Without the right features in a health intelligence software, employers would have a hard time nailing down this type of information, but that’s why we’re here. One of the biggest ways to reduce healthcare costs is to identify and address these gaps before they grow into bigger issues. The next step is educating employees on the benefits of staying up-to-date with their treatment plans, and how it benefits everyone involved.
Even though they might sound similar, there’s a small difference between simple health analytics and health intelligence. An analytics software takes your employee health data and does just that – presents it for you to analyze it. An intelligence platform is one that will take those analytics and prescriptively tell you what to do next.
One way to use a health intelligence platform to understand “what next?” is to build a wellness plan within your company. If a new Springbuk client finds through their data that they have an abundance of employees that are dealing with high blood pressure, the health management team can tailor programming to help curb the effects of that health condition. According to the CDC, there are plenty of strategies available for tackling hypertension in the workplace, ranging from lunch-and-learns that explain the issue to employees, all the way to providing blood pressure monitoring devices to employees to help them be more aware of their health.
Proactive engagement like this can go a long way in containing healthcare costs by improving employee awareness of health, especially when targeted toward a health issue that is directly affecting the population. All it takes is a little data from something like Springbuk and companies are armed with the tools they need to go out and be proactive.
The last two suggestions have been very tactical, but there are other data arrangement strategies that companies can employ to help in the effort to contain healthcare costs. One of these examples is using a health intelligence software to create member groups (i.e., focus populations, or cohorts) based around different criteria. Depending on how much data is being collected, these groups can be as generalized or specific as necessary. Competent software platforms should be able to filter through things like age, gender, and diagnosed conditions, but your health management team can take it a step further and combine some of these filters for intensely specific groups.
By identifying the people that have the most risk associated with their health, the company can take steps to address these problems first. Of course, the other employees are going to get their treatment and care in due time, but for companies looking to enable the healthiest lives for their employees while saving money, tackling the biggest health issues first can save money in the long run.
Thinking in the long run is necessary for companies looking to contain healthcare costs, but the benefits across the board are numerous. Companies with affordable and effective healthcare are more attractive to top talent, and are a key part in retaining existing talent. And keeping top talent productive is much easier when they’re healthier. All of these benefits can be traced back to the decision to invest in the right health intelligence company.