Data & Analytics in the Real World

“Information is the oil of the 21st century,” Gartner Research’s Peter Sondergaard, said. “… And analytics is the combustion engine.” 

It’s becoming more and more obvious that the time to “just talk” about the value of analytics and data and what they can do to help companies combat high healthcare and benefits costs is over and the time to take action has arrived.

At the start, as with any new program, a lot of questions and concerns are normal. Earlier this week, Ted Barrall, Director of Compensation and Benefits at The Friedkin Group, a DHS Group client, was joined by Sirine Jazi, DHS Group’s Director of Client Engagement and Analytics, and the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) to share their journey with analytics and data – not only supporting the value of utilizing these tools for business, but also providing answers to the questions that many face before they get started.

On a corporate level, The Friedkin Group has taken a large focus on preventative care as a means to help reduce their healthcare and benefits costs in the future. In order to share this focus with their entire population, Friedkin has integrated a culture of health from the top down.

“We have a long standing tradition in supporting the health and wellbeing of our associates that goes back years before we even started thinking about a health and wellness program,” Barrall said. “Our associate is our most important asset and that’s a valuable thing to have in mind when go in front of the C-Suite with health and wellness programming.”

How is data involved?

  • Data measures the effectiveness and impact of health and wellness initiatives; both in data integration to measure participation and in the ability to measure trends and health status year over year
  • Data tracks the current status of the member population
  • Data allows for additional opportunities for population health improvement and cost avoidance

“We put this program in place back in 2013,” Barrall said. “And we did it with an understanding that if our associates get the appropriate preventative care that they need, that will help uncover illnesses before they become expensive to treat down the road.”

With the information gathered from data, Friedkin can gather key findings that tune them into who is participating in their preventative care and health and wellbeing programming – information like that women are more likely to participate in health and wellbeing programming than their male counterparts, hospital and ER utilization is higher among non-participants, non-participants have a greater rate of high cost outliers and more.

“Participation is a win-win for the employer and the participant,” Jazi said. “It’s better to catch the illness or disease earlier for better chance of solution and of course, it ends up being a financial advantage for the employer.”

Findings in hand, Friedkin is armed with information to better engage non-participants and find where they need to focus their programming (things like different communication strategies, outreach from on-site nurses and wellness coaches) in an effort to continue to improve their population health and overall employee wellbeing.


Looking for more, including a detailed look at numbers behind Friedkin’s experiences with preventative care? Stay tuned to DHS Group on Twitter and LinkedIn for links to the entire published webinar in the upcoming days.

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