Calling All Wannabee Data Geeks

July 13, 2017
Patricia Ingerick, Senior Director, Transformation Services

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m proud to call myself a bonafide data geek, and I want you to be one too. 

Perhaps it’s because of my background in information technology or my years of teaching healthcare informatics to students in St. Joseph University’s Healthcare Administration program, but I find analyzing data and finding interesting trends and correlations pretty exciting. I thoroughly enjoy exploring healthcare data, mining it for relevant insights, and then empowering people with the findings. Just as importantly, I’m hopeful the insights I find and my enthusiasm for putting those insights to work are a powerful antidote to the frustration many employers feel about declining employee health and increasing health costs. 

By now, you’ve probably heard about Curt*. He’s the vice president of human resources for a Fortune 500 company with more than $10 billion in sales, 150 customers and 15,000 employees. Like me, he uses Geneia’s Theon® advanced analytics platform. With the Theon® tool, Curt was able to easily identify ways to save more than $500,000 on employee medical costs while also improving employee health. 

Among the data most surprising to him was: 

  • The more than 200 employees with high-risk conditions who had not seen their primary care physician in the past 12 months for follow up and case management
  • The 68 employees who visited the emergency department in the past year but not their primary care physician,
  • The 500+ employees who are pre-diabetic

I encourage you to download the case study to view all of Curt’s initial findings and read our follow-up blog about how he used the Theon® platform to work with employees who are considered high-risk as well as those whose clinical risk score is rising. 

More recently, I had the opportunity to consult with an employer group to help them leverage their Theon® analytic insights to work more closely with health plan partners and participating providers to improve employee health outcomes. My data mining yielded a number of new findings, and to say I was eager to share them is quite the understatement. 

Some of the most salient and actionable associations we discussed were:

  • For this employer group, pregnancy complications are in the top 10 conditions driving costs and two of the most costly claims resulted from premature births. But only 50 percent of pregnant women received pre-natal care, and even fewer, approximately 25 percent, received post-partum care. Less than half of infants achieved complete Childhood Immunization Status.
  • Cancer and cancer-related treatments are the third highest cost condition yet there are compelling opportunities to boost essential screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer to established benchmarks.
  • Nearly three percent of the employees are pre-diabetic and the prevalence of diabetes exceeds statewide and national norms. At the same time, far too many diagnosed diabetics are not receiving annual diabetes checks, which have been shown to slow disease progression including HbA1C/blood glucose tests and eye and foot exams.

Together, these insights pointed to specific interventions that helped the employer group understand the opportunity to work much more closely with participating health plans, hospitals and physicians to emphasize preventive care and chronic condition management and improve employee health outcomes. 

Even more gratifying to me, this employer group came to appreciate the power of its data and the benefits director, albeit a bit reluctantly, now calls herself a data geek too.

CPBJ Healthcare Symposium

If you’re a wannabee data geek, meet me at the Central Penn Business Journal Healthcare Symposium on July 18 or check out our employer resources at I’m eager for you to understand how your employees’ healthcare data holds the keys to improving your company’s healthcare costs and outcomes. Your data-driven solution awaits.

*Curt’s experience is an illustrative example based upon the actual experience of a Geneia client. This information is provided for illustrative purposes only. Curt is fictional and not intended to represent any specific person. Any direct similarities to any real person are purely coincidental and unintentional.


Related Blogs