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The Race to Control Healthcare Costs: Using Data to Your Advantage

Is your business feeling the impact of rising healthcare costs?

A recent study conducted by Mercer showed that the total health benefits cost per employee reached $15,013 on average in 2022, with small organizations (50-499 employees) reporting slightly higher costs than large organizations. With premiums expected to rise in the upcoming years, it is important to explore strategies that can help you and your business manage healthcare costs.

The best way to gain control of your healthcare costs is to understand how plan participants are utilizing their benefits by analyzing the healthcare data available to you. The main goal is to identify meaningful connections between plan utilization and associated costs, allowing you to implement cost-saving strategies that benefit employees and your bottom line.

This blog will cover ways to collect and analyze data that help you identify top cost drivers in your employee population and cost-saving strategies your business can implement.

Collecting Healthcare Data

Healthcare data can provide you with valuable insight into your employees overall health and plan utilization.

Employers can use the following tactics to collect healthcare data on their employees:

  • Claims data: You can identify specific areas employees are spending the most money in, including certain healthcare services and prescriptions. This information can help you identify opportunities to promote preventive care services and wellness benefits.

  • Conduct a health risk assessment: Use a health risk assessment to identify which chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, your employees are most at risk for. By identifying which diseases your population is most at risk for, you can offer targeted wellness programs or coaching to help prevent and manage these conditions.

  • Utilize biometric screenings: A biometric screening can measure cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and body mass index; you can use this information to identify areas where employees need targeted wellness interventions, such as nutrition or exercise programs.

Analyzing Plan Utilization

Using data collected from the methods above will provide insights into your employees’ overall health and help you identify how they are utilizing their benefits.

  • Identify top utilizers and address their specific health needs to manage high-risk conditions.

  • Address unnecessary healthcare utilization like, frequent emergency room visits for non-emergencies, allowing you to educate employees on alternative services.

  • Monitor whether employees are using healthcare services within your network and reduce the costs of out-of-network treatments.

  • Evaluate the current effectiveness of your existing healthcare programs and identify if wellness programs are effectively reducing costs.

  • Understand plan utilization that can help you identify common areas of overspending, such as medical tests, procedures and prescription drugs.

Once you identify how your employees are utilizing their plans, you can address these areas with cost-saving strategies unique to your business.

Implementing Cost-Saving Strategies

There are several cost-saving strategies that you can implement based on your healthcare data analysis. Depending on the unique cost drivers you identify, your strategy should address your needs.

Promote Preventative Care

Healthcare data analysis can also help employers identify employees who are at risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. By encouraging employees to engage in preventative care, such as regular check-ups and screenings, employers can help reduce long-term healthcare costs.

Implement Tailored Wellness Programs

Wellness programs can be a cost-effective way to improve employee health and reduce healthcare costs. By using healthcare data to identify areas where employees could benefit from wellness programs, employers can design targeted programs that address specific health concerns.

Utilize Telemedicine

Telemedicine can be a cost-effective alternative to traditional in-person doctor visits. By offering telemedicine services to employees, employers can reduce healthcare costs associated with office visits and emergency room visits.

Consider Alternative Funding

Are you currently in a self-funded plan? If not, it’s time to evaluate if self-funding is right for your business. Self-funding gives you plan flexibility, customization and transparency while reducing your company's healthcare spend. Read our latest blog to see if self-funding is right for your business.

Control costs without cutting benefits.

Ascela’s experts help you use your benefits data to your advantage. Tapping into your data allows you to tailor your plan to address the unique needs in your employee population. Our team is trained to identify top cost drivers in your data and offer action-based solutions to reduce and control costs.

Contact our team today for a claims data assessment to identify ways to reduce costs and maximize your benefits package.


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