Data's Value in the Changing Market

Al Rapp worked in HR and corporate benefits for 37 years, retiring a few years ago as the VP of Worldwide Healthcare for the United Parcel Service, overseeing, at that time, some 400,000 employees and nearly 1,000,000 lives. With his longevity and experience in the HR and benefits industry, Rapp has seen the industry’s ebbs and flows – giving him insight into the industry today and where many employers find themselves in this time of rising healthcare costs.

“The biggest question right now is whether large employers will eventually drop coverage and send employees to exchanges or to other defined contribution plans that are being developed,” Rapp said. “As a whole, companies are still looking to optimize their own programs as opposed to abandoning them.”

As Rapp said, with companies looking for new ways to continue to manage their own healthcare, something they see as an asset to both themselves and their employees, they’re looking to engage in partnerships – something that can help maintain costs.

What are new areas that organizations can search for money-saving partnerships?

“Data holds the key for employers to manage costs,” Rapp said. “With data, [companies] are able to identify trends, challenges, potential solutions and areas to concentrate on. Healthcare and wellness is a challenge and the only way to have a logical approach to the challenge is through data.”

Combining data with an action plan is where the real solution lies; and although managing costs will also be the top priority for companies, sponsoring wellness solutions and engaging employees will also always be critical goals for employers to meet.

“This is where solutions like DHS Group’s suite of products can help,” Rapp said. “No one product, not one offering is going to be the solution for all. At UPS, with this huge organization, with 1 million lives, we had this huge responsibility. We had data, but it was so complex that we weren’t capable internally of using that data to bring about change.”

“The DHS tool helps with all of that,” Rapp said. “It has an employer’s data, but it also produces for the employer the areas they should concentrate on to make a difference. And not just concentrating, but also ways to help, how to change and produce solutions.”

DHS’s HealthSpective Analyze and Engage – the combination that goes beyond simply reporting on data and offering corporate wellness programs – bring together analytics and engagement and empower them to work together. This tool, which Rapp mentions, enables clients to achieve the best possible results in their population health management – even more important today in the era of the ever-changing healthcare landscape.

“Employers’ healthcare teams are working hard and trying to do anything and everything they can do – but they’re small teams compared to the magnitude of the challenge,” Rapp said. “A tool like DHS has – this is what employers need to help bring about positive change.”