Predictive analytics in health care can dramatically reduce costs by streamlining patient treatment, reducing waste and improving patient health and happiness. As a small business owner, you have a limited number of employees and limited access to their health care policy use patterns. But you don’t have hundreds of thousands of data points to use in analyzing your company’s health care policy.
To start, major corporate employers and health care providers have more than enough information to inform you on how to reduce health care costs. You can talk to your employees to gain insight. By looking at the broad patterns in health care data, you can learn how to manage your own health care policy, therefore saving money and improving the health of your employees.
Reduce Repeat Visits
According to the Society of Actuaries (SOA), 47 percent of surveyed health care providers used predictive analytics to reduce hospital readmission. It’s worth noting that readmission factors come in clinical and nonclinical forms. Applying these broad issues to your workplace means addressing the ways in which your employees are using their health care benefits. For example, you might not be concerned specifically about hospital readmission, but if your employees are visiting the doctor three or four times with the same cold or flu, your health care costs will rise year-over-year.
Are your employees being treated properly with just one visit to the doctor, and if not, why? Perhaps you need to find a health care plan that has more in-network providers that can speak the same primary language as your employees. If they can’t talk to their doctors, they’ll struggle to get better.
Survey the Staff
You can collect your own predictive data in-house with a short, simple survey. The SOA report indicated that 53 percent of health care providers use predictive analytics to measure patient satisfaction. If your employees aren’t happy with their health plan, they aren’t likely to use it correctly. That can mean more visits to the ER and less adherence to their doctor’s advice. Ask your staff, “Do you like the company’s health plan? Why?” Collecting basic information will help you and your health insurance broker find the right plans to offer.
Educate Your Employees
Once you review predictive analytic data, you’ll be equipped to provide targeted educational information to your employees. For example, pharmaceutical adherence is key in maintaining health. And lifestyle choices such as nutrition and exercise dictate short- and long-term health. By informing your staff through a company wellness program, you’ll use predictive analysis to reduce costs and improve staff health.
Reducing costs in health care ultimately means having a healthier workforce for you. Predictive analytics is helpful in finding the trends to indicate how health care dollars are used. Those trends can inform you on how to customize your health care choices and communications, thereby having a more robust group of people working for you.
Dylan Murray has an MBA from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston University. He’s a licensed insurance agent in California, but he works as a professional researcher and writer reporting on business trends in estate law, insurance and private security. Dylan has worked as a script analyst with the Sundance Institute and the Scriptwriters Network in Los Angeles. He lives in San Diego, California, and Marseille, France.