March 7, 2018 – If you are trying to control health benefits costs, the best place to start is with the data — and good pharmacy data analytics can improve plan design and save money.

With the Benefits Pro Broker Expo due up next week in San Diego, we thought we’d take a moment to comment on Scott Woolridge’s excellent article, “Using Big Data to design better health care plans.” As he points out, data analytics—just the phrase itself—may make your eyes glaze over, but there’s money to be saved by finding a broker who can dig into every aspect of your benefits spend.

We know that Big Data means big opportunity. In fact, Woolridge cites a 2016 report by the National Institutes of Health that concluded, “Other industries such as astronomy, retail, search engines and politics have developed advanced data-handling capabilities to convert data into knowledge. Health care needs to follow their lead so that decisions regarding organizational objectives and goals can be met.”

Scripta here to tell you that that day has come. And while it may seem that pharmacy data analytics are most appropriate for large employers, according to Woolridge (and we agree), “Brokers also see benefits for self-funded companies with relatively small workforces.” Yes, that’s right, your employee health data could be the key to addressing cost and quality issues, and it might just save you money on your pharmacy spend.

Woolridge notes that you need a good, reliable broker if you want to delve into this area of technology and save money.

To that we would add that your broker must have access to technology that enables them to analyze large amounts of pharmacy data, not to mention alliances with experts in the complex world of prescription drugs. Given the right partnerships, however, your broker can use your employee data to reveal huge cost disparities for the same procedure (for instance, MRIs can vary from $300 to $5000) and/or devise plan designs that will better fit your employee population.

As the article points out — benefits tomorrow are about creative data analytics that improve every aspect of healthcare for your covered lives. That means every procedure… and every pharmacy transaction. (Come talk to us at Booth #225 in San Diego if you are interested in saving as much as 30% on your pharmacy spend next year).

Read Scott Woolridge’s artitcle at BenefitsPro.com: 
Using Big Data to design better health care plans