Managing Healthcare Costs through Data and Technology
For Your Benefit - November 2021
Do you ever stop and think about the amount of data that exists out there? In the second it takes to say “data,” people around the world generate about 10,000 tweets, make 1,805 Skype calls, upload five hours of YouTube videos and send more than 2.4 million emails*.
Banks use customer data to manage risk and create new financial solutions to better serve their customers. Similarly, health plans measure the risks of their population and use healthcare claims data to determine what programs to implement to impact future costs and better serve their participants.
VBA Benefits Corporation has been using claims data analytic software since 2017 to manage our healthcare costs for the 7,800 employees and 13,000 members covered under our health plan. Our data analytics software houses multiple years of medical and pharmacy claims and allows us in real-time to analyze our claims data in meaningful ways, such as by specific health condition or what particular age group is incurring our highest amount of claims.
Through this data mining process, we have been able to pinpoint certain healthcare risks and develop customized program offerings. For example, in 2020, there were 3,242 unique VBA members who were identified with a chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) condition, of which the plan paid a total of $6,020,000 in claims. This equates to approximately 25% of our population and they were identified through our analytics by having had a medical or pharmacy claim related to an MSK condition.
In response to these statistics, we are implementing a new program effective January 1, 2022, called Hinge Health. This digital MSK program provides an alternative treatment option for traditional physical therapy using wearable technology and delivery of care virtually. This will be offered at no cost for all members, thus removing the financial barrier to receiving care. Once this program has been in place for a period of time, we’ll be able to track and measure the success by comparing our MSK health outcomes year over year and determine if it is benefiting our employees through claims utilization and improved health.
If you have questions about this program or any other benefits programs offered by the VBA Benefits Corporation, please contact Laurie Milligan.