AI-Powered Analytics Will Predict Health Events and Lower Costs
Workplace wellness is a multi-billion-dollar industry and the Internet is flooded with articles hyping the latest must-have trends to corporate teams. From in-house chefs to company-wide meditation retreats, many of these “trends” are akin to putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm: they make a nice social media moment on Instagram but do little to actually lower costs for a company’s at-risk population. This is changing in 2019.
This year, smart analytics and intelligent personalization are allowing health management programs to move beyond basic initiatives to predict and address at-risk populations before major health issues occur, delivering cost-saving preventive care.
These are the five trends that matter for corporate wellness in 2019:
1. AI-powered analytics forecast future behavior and identify intervention opportunities.
“Prevention” has long been a hot healthcare buzzword yet many of today’s corporate wellness offerings continue to be built off historical data– keeping programming offerings squarely in the rearview mirror. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered analytics are changing this. Drawing on biometric screening data, health risk assessments and pharmacy claims, data scientists are developing sophisticated algorithms. These algorithms can predict with 95 percent accuracy if someone will experience a major health event that will land them in the Emergency Room within the next 12 months.
Analytic dashboards allow companies to filter by location, demographics and health condition to determine gaps in care for at-risk populations. For example, the dashboard might reveal that that males over the age of 40 are at a high risk for heart attack in the Atlanta office while the Houston office is at risk for diabetes. Your company’s Disease Management Vendor can then coordinate appropriate interventions tailored to these different population needs. Companies will know exactly where to invest money that will make a true impact on healthcare costs and support employee well-being.
2. Lifestyle-based risk determinants expand to include behavioral and mental health concerns.
The use of AI-powered analytics to better predict which populations will be vulnerable to chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, is a critical step forward for corporate wellness care. But companies can do even in more in 2019 by simply expanding their definition of risk determinants to include lifestyle factors such as stress level at work and on-the-job satisfaction. Just 10 percent of your health is determined by the health care you receive, according to Aetna. Lifestyle choices, social determinants and genetics impact the other 90 percent– and this is where some corporate wellness offerings can really move the needle. A more holistic understanding of risk determinants is critical to addressing treatment gaps for the behavioral health epidemic. Expect more companies to prioritize behavioral and mental health screenings.
3. Rise of specialized outpatient care lowers corporate healthcare costs and improves patient outcomes
For decades, hospital-based care was the norm. Now, patients who have been educated on the idea of “the right care at the right time in the right place,” are opting for specialized outpatient centers and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). For companies, this behavior modification for surgical care has a direct impact on the bottom line as specialized outpatient centers typically cost less than inpatient hospital stays. There are direct benefits for patients, too. Research finds that the ASCs have better outcomes and lower infection rates, delivering superior care over in-patient hospital procedures. Expect to see an increased focus on outpatient centers versus in-patient hospital stays in 2019– a win-win for companies battling healthcare costs and patients who deserve the highest quality care.
4. Improved data-sharing delivers on the cost-saving promise of value-based care.
Value-based care ties the cost of care to the quality of care, incentivizing providers to help patients improve their health, especially when it comes to chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Under a value-based care system, providers align their services with positive patient outcomes, which helps to minimize costly hospitalizations and medical emergencies. While the value-based care model has grown in popularity, until recently, providers lacked the technology tools to effectively manage patients under their care and move the needle on health outcomes. In 2019, increased interoperability and improved data sharing will finally make it easier for providers to access the complete patient information they need to help the value-based care system realize its true, cost-saving potential.
5. Digital health gets ready for prime-time.
For years, technology companies have hyped their digital tools as the solution for lowering costs and improving care. Health apps like CaptureProof, a HIPAA-secure app for monitoring recovery status via shared photos between doctors and patients, have been in the marketplace for several years. But low adoption rates and clunky technology platforms, coupled with privacy concerns, means the full promise of digital health is yet to be realized. That's starting to change. Tech-savvy health insurance companies like Oscar Health and Bright Health are attracting significant private equity investments and venture funding– and they're pushing other health insurers to up their digital health offerings. Expect health insurers to consider new ways to use health data to drive care outcomes as technology giants like Apple, Amazon and Google join the push for lower care costs.
For more on how these health management trends will impact your business in 2019, schedule a consultation here.
Scott Foster is President of Wellco. Scott and Wellco have provided award-winning systems to measurably improve health conditions and costs. Wellco specializes in engagement, analytics and high-value care. For more information visit, www.Wellcocorp.com
Permission to Reprint
You may reprint any items from Health Trends Blog in your own print or electronic newsletter. When you do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from “HealthTrendsBlog.com,” free, proven employer health strategies and market intelligence from Wellco and Scott Foster. Learn more at www.wellcocorp.com. Copyright (c) by Wellco.
Wellco is great and really easy to work with. They are prepared and ready to talk when they say they will be, and the price point was awesome. They exceeded what we were anticipating.
Wellco’s HealthHammer is the most valuable benefit we have ever provided to our staff.
When it came time to plan our annual GLC SOPHE conference, I knew I wanted to ask Scott Foster to inspire my health education peers the way he had already done with me. He prepared for this keynote very professionally and deliberately. He consulted with our planning team to make sure he accomplished what we expected during his presentation. He ended up surpassing our expectations and he knocked it out of the park! He is original with his approach, stories and examples. He did exactly what we asked and we appreciated that.
Scott Foster was the keynote speaker for the Michigan HR Day conference, which had a sold-out crowd of over 800 participants. If you are searching for a remarkable speaker who is also a pleasure to do business with, I highly recommend Scott Foster.
Scott Foster provided a really enjoyable program to a subject that can be very dry. Scott is able to disseminate facts in a way for people to easily understand and make it personalized to them with real stories and real situations that they can apply. As an expert with a global view, Scott challenged the status quo and gave eye-opening new perspectives and takeaways. Scott’s program was great and highly engaging!
Looking for a great keynote? Scott Foster is a fascinating speaker who knows how to connect with an audience. He peppers his talk with personal stories and tailors his presentation to the needs of your group. Expect comments like "most valuable session," great job presenting all sides to the issues" and "loved his presentation style". I highly recommend him!
I’ve had the privilege to host Scott as a presenter at a regional conference four years in a row. Scott brings an abundance of credibility in wellness and well being. However, what I appreciated most was his eagerness to adapt his presentation to the needs of my audience. We collaborated to determine learning objectives for the presentations, and then Scott customized his delivery to maximize the likelihood that our learning objectives would be met. A finer person one won’t meet! He’s witty and engaging, intelligent yet genuine.
Scott's expertise in understanding and supporting employer's in managing the health of their population is impressive. His presentation style is both engaging and amusing. The audience walks away with key information to help them better manage health risks, use of benefits and the bottom-line.
Scott was the closing speaker at the NBCH Annual Conference. His presentation exceeded all expectations with his interactive, engaging and knowledgeable style. I would highly recommend him for both large and small meetings/conferences.
Scott Foster’s presentation to our annual WellOK coalition meeting was inspiring, energetic and enlightening. Scott drove home the points on population health in a witty and entertaining talk. I enthusiastically recommend him as a speaker.
Scott Foster knocked his keynote out of the park during our annual conference with his expertise and engaging presentation style!