For many of us in the healthcare data and analytics industry, COVID-19 felt like a bolt of lightning driving innovation and propelling us several years into the future. It was the 1.21 gigawatts of power needed to propel the telehealth DeLorean.

Only a few short years ago, telehealth was most often a 1-800 nurseline and a rarely utilized benefit. Today, use of telemedicine has skyrocketed. According to survey data compiled by the American Medical Association (AMA), in 2018 only 25% of physicians worked in a setting that used telehealth compared to 79% in 2020. In 2020, medical specialties led the use of video-conferencing with psychiatrists using the technology 85.5% of the time. According to research completed by LexisNexis, from January 2020 to February 2021, there was a 6,500% increase in telehealth claims for behavioral health services. They also noted that while claims for non-telehealth service settings have increased back to pre-COVID levels, telehealth utilization continues to rise as well. So patients were not only using telehealth as a substitute care setting during COVID, they are continuing to use telehealth as a preferred modality. 

Simultaneously, digital health startups are capitalizing on these trends and offering new models and services for employee healthcare including companies such as Eden Health , which offers a hybrid model of virtual and in person healthcare. Sword Health and Hinge Health both offer digital health solutions targeted at treating musculoskeletal conditions. Vivante Health offers a digital health program targeted at the digestive system  and improvement of gut health. The Teladoc company, Livongo, provides smart devices, clinical expertise, health management strategies and support for those with diabetes. And the combining of Doctors on Demand and Grand Rounds to form Included Health, focuses on patient navigation, virtual primary care, urgent care and therapy visits and virtual expert medical opinion solutions. 

See how we have partnered with Included Health to offer Included Health’s Expert Medical Opinion (EMO) solution directly to Springbuk’s existing small and mid-market employers and benefits advisors.

These emerging trends are driving the employee benefits landscape to change rapidly. Compounded by mid-career level employees fueling the great resignation, employers need strategies to retain and attract the highest quality talent with benefit programs that are reflective of the healthcare trends and growing population health demands of today. Therefore, it is important for employers to have access to all types of data in order to inform their benefit strategies. 

What is Integrated Analytics?

Integrated analytics is the ability to deliver intelligence that harnesses multiple data sources. It merges all of your data and information together so you can make smarter, more informed, decisions. It links data sets to uncover impacts across benefit programs, allowing the analyst to uncover positive and negative trends and opportunities. It provides a holistic view of an employer’s benefit strategy. 

The trends in telemedicine, and many other areas, have spawned new types of data that need to be integrated into analytics such as virtual encounter records, virtual mental health visits and new program data including digital health point solutions and expert medical opinion solutions. Employers need to quickly integrate this data in order to analyze trends while they are emerging but also understand the impact to other more traditional benefits, such as medical, pharmacy and disability benefits. They not only need to understand their variable costs, but also the fixed (administrative) costs associated with new programs. This allows them to determine the total financial impact on their benefit strategy and identify programs and interventions that are valuable and cost effective. 

Driven to Integrate

At Springbuk, we provide a health data analytics solution that equips employers and advisors with the deep, immediate insights and the integrated analytics they need to strengthen their strategies, improve health and wellness and contain costs. We are driven to continuously integrate new data and information as part of the foundation of our platform. We are focused on continuous improvement of our data models and deploy innovative technology that can scale, evolve and support interoperability and complex data integration.  

For example, we are loading, analyzing and interpreting data from emerging programs such as virtual visits and encounters, expert medical opinion programs, digital health programs and incentive programs to determine their impact on employee health and medical and pharmacy trends. We are working with employers, brokers and consultants to assess whether these programs are achieving their goals and if they are a valuable investment for employers. 

Below are just a few areas where we are using data to support integrated analytics:

Finally, at Springbuk, our product roadmap is guided by pillars from our product vision, including our commitment to innovative technical and data architecture to ensure we deliver integrated and sophisticated analytics to our customers. We strive to continuously incorporate new, emerging data to empower employers to identify, and predict, the right benefit programs to optimize employee health and wellness and maximize their investment in people. Because “where we’re going, we don’t need roads”, Dr. Emmett Brown. 

For more information on integrated analytics, click here.

About the Author

Nicole Belles has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of healthcare data and, analytic solutions. Throughout her career, she has been using data and analytics to address the strategic business needs of all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, including health plans, employers, pharmacy benefit managers and providers. She has worked in multiple disciplines, including consulting and practice leadership, methodologies and predictive analytics, and product management. Nicole joined Springbuk in the summer of 2021 as the Vice President of Product where she fosters the product vision and strategy, aligning with the Springbuk strategic vision, to drive sustained value to our clients.