While health insurers focus on risk assessment and controlling costs, they also need to incorporate analytics to help solve broader insurance issues, according to Insurance & Technology. Greater investments in data analytics can improve overall outcomes.
It's important for insurers to use data analytics to innovate and generate new ideas. When it comes to innovation, "there are no bad ideas," Kimberly Holmes, head of strategic analytics at XL Group told Insurance & Technology.
Insurers also should be open to trying new data sources, noted Insurance & Technology. They should investigate and recognize new opportunities to make data more accessible.
By doing so, insurers can better identify at-risk members. For instance, not-for-profit Community Health Plan of Washington pulled data from multiple sources to determine members who have highest risk of medication noncompliance, according to Information Week. "We wanted to identify gaps in risk identification such that we could better target patients in chronic care management," Victor Collymore, M.D., chief medical officer of Community Health Plan, told the publication.
Similarly, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan is leveraging analytics to identify high-risk members. "We're using it to identify members based on risk scores, which are primarily based on their diagnoses over a one-year period. We take that as one piece of what we're doing," Lisa Feingold, vice president of clinical informatics at Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, previously told FierceHealthPayer in an exclusive interview.
While insurers may not realize the full benefits of data analytics until later down the road, the long-term results are worth the wait. Almost half of healthcare organizations say they are experiencing a positive return on investment in data analytics and reporting technology, according to a recent TCS Healthcare Technologies survey, FierceHealthIT previously reported.