In the data-driven world of the twenty-first century, everyone in business knows that if you don’t measure it, you won’t be able to manage it effectively. This also holds true when it comes to health plan data analytics. Whatever you might be working on, the first thing you want to do is a round of data collection to describe the baseline from which you’re starting. For your health plan benefits, that would include a variety of data points around the population health and wellness of your workforce, plan enrollment and administration, and of course, the cost. But another critical task is to look at benchmarking all that health plan data, which is different from determining the baseline. Here’s what benchmarking health plan data means and why it’s essential.
What Benchmarking Health Plan Data Means
Benchmarking means comparing your metrics or key performance indicators to a standard of some degree. Granted, you can always compare any given set of metrics to what they were when you established your baseline, and while that’s useful for tracking internal progress over time, you also know your company doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It’s useful to compare your results to another set of matching data, whether from one or several key competitors, industry best practices data, national database data, etc.
For example, you might feel great about improving enrollments in your company’s health plan by a substantial amount one year compared to your previous year’s baseline. You might feel less great about it if you were to discover the trend at your nearest competitors or if your overall industry has much higher enrollments than yours. This would be vital data to know because it might indicate something is seriously wrong with your health benefits approach, which could impact your company’s hiring and retention. In other words, benchmarking against other data gives better context for what’s happening in your company relative to others and should be considered when formulating the goals you should be trying to achieve.
Benchmarking Against What?
This is a crucial question LHD can help you answer within our health plan data analytics service. One of the important considerations here is to make sure benchmarking makes apples-to-apples comparisons. Comparing apples to oranges simply won’t be of any use. In this respect, comparing your medium-sized business located in Indiana to a large Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley wouldn’t make sense. That would be comparing apples to oranges, not apples to apples.
Choosing among healthcare plans is a surprisingly local or (at best) regional phenomenon. To benchmark against national data from carriers may not be granular enough because national data is often surprisingly problematic and even misleading, though it may have limited benchmarking uses. The significant benefit of keeping benchmarking data as detailed as possible is making better strategic decisions around health plans.
You must also be sure any benchmarking data is of good quality. The old computer science adage of garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) applies here. If your benchmarking data is bad, you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. At LHD, we constantly seek out the highest-quality data for benchmarking purposes. We know where to get the best data, whether it’s drawing from a large commercial claims database, tapping into our own data sources, or a
combination of both.
This type of careful, custom benchmarking health plan data isn’t something most businesses can handle in-house, especially in an already overworked and under-resourced Human Resources team or department. LHD is happy to help, and our passion for and expertise in data, analytics, and data-driven business decision-making means we’ll go the extra mile to get you what you need.
LHD: A Strategic Partner for Data-Driven Health Plan Decisions
Every employer wants to achieve an optimal mix of positive healthcare outcomes for its workforce while achieving long-term financial viability by keeping health plans as affordable as possible through cost reductions and savings. LHD helps businesses do exactly that by leveraging our data expertise into better, more strategic decisions regarding your company’s health plan benefits and program offerings. The good news is the LHD benchmark service is something your company can benefit from as part of our health plan data analytics service.
We also have access to some of the best data in the industry through the non-profit we founded back in 2001 called United Benefits Advisors (UBA). Based on benefit plan information covering more than 1 million employees nationwide, the UBA Health Plan Survey provides accurate plan cost and design data, which prove invaluable for benchmarking purposes.
If you’re ready to begin working with a strategic partner who will lead you to better decisions about health benefits and benchmarking health plan data, get in touch with LHD through the Contact page of our website, by telephone at 371.751.7049, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!