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How Sorting Through Health Care Data Saves on Cost

Health care data solves problems by helping companies of all sizes make decisions like choosing the best health care plan for their employees. As a small business, this data can help your organization choose the best plan for your employees based on the services they need and want. Ultimately, it can help you stop wasting money on a plan that doesn’t fit your employees’ needs.

How Does Employee Health Care Data Enhance Your Company?

Gathering employee health metrics is no longer available only to big corporations, according to Entrepreneur. Today, smaller organizations and nonprofits can use tools to help gather key health data. Gathering and pooling aggregated data like this improves the insurance plan you offer to your employees. Key factors on how often your employees visit their doctor or the services they use can shed light on the features your health insurance plan needs to offer.

For example, data helps determine if employees have an average body mass index well over the normal range. If so, offer more wellness programs focused on fitness and weight loss. On the other hand, if you have an employee group that’s younger and having children right now, it may be time to offer a better maternity package. This offering keeps key employees at your organization because you have a better health benefits plan.

What About Employee Safety With Health Care Data?

Entrepreneur noted that people worry about their health care data. So, a key factor to take into consideration when gathering health care data like this is providing confidence to your employees that you’re not gathering information that identifies them. Specifically, individual information is never available to you, the employer. You won’t know, for example, which employee is struggling with diabetes or has gone to fertility treatments. All information is kept confidential and only pooled information is available for decision-making.

What Information Is Trackable?

Depending on the third-party company or analytics software you use, a variety of information will be available for tracking. Generally, this isn’t done directly by the employer, but rather by a third-party, Fortune explained. Key information gathered may include:

  • Pharmacy claims
  • Medical claims
  • Search queries
  • How often specific health care plan features are used
  • What type of major health risks are present, such as risk for back surgery or diabetes, based on health summaries

Third parties gather this information. While these organizations can pinpoint specific people within their data, they don’t share this information with anyone, including the employer. It remains anonymous, so there’s no risk of discriminatory factors. That’s important because employees will wonder about their privacy. Health care data doesn’t have to be accessible, but aggregate information is incredibly useful.

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Why Bother With It?

With these types of data points, employers can make important decisions. You can track how your employees are using the insurance plan you’ve provided to them. You can also monitor for the changes in their needs over time. When trends are present, such as an aging population in your workforce or individuals who need more advanced health care needs, you can adjust your plan to match.

The key benefit to the employer for utilizing health data is the simple fact that it allows you to offer a customized health insurance plan for your group based on what employees need. This helps you save money on services that are not necessary while ensuring you’re offering and paying for the care employees appreciate.

Sandy Baker is a full-time freelance writer specializing in health, personal finance and internet marketing. Her long-term history online has included publications with companies including Marriott Hotels, The New York Times and dozens of other small and medium-sized businesses. She’s also published in print with award-winning books such as The Complete Guide to Estate Planning, Complete Guide to Early Retirement, The Complete Bankruptcy Guide for Consumers and Small Businesses and The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care.