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Case Study

Population Health Management Analytics: Better Population Targeting with Healthcare Data

Client Profile: Lowe’s

  • Location: Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Industry: Retail
  • Number of employees: 265,000

Key Program Highlights

Through their collaboration with HDMS, Lowe’s is now able to:

  • Understand trends within a population
  • Create patient-oriented, pro-active health programs
  • Shift focus from treatment to wellness
  • Emphasize more cost-effective health choices
  • Communicate and incentivize healthy lifestyle choices
  • Collect data in a safe & secure way
  • Analyze biometric, medical and pharmacy data
  • Compare Lowe’s population to national health benchmarks

Lowe’s has been working with HDMS since 2006 and the relationship continues to grow and expand. Lowe’s relies heavily on its health data to understand trends within its population and also to identify any patterns that may indicate the need for proactive intervention to improve its population’s overall health. The strength of the relationship allows HDMS to work as an extension of the Lowe’s benefits organization.

The Situation

Starting in 2011, Lowe’s began to make its health programs and services more patient-focused and proactive. To gain visibility into its population, Lowe’s knew that it would have to rely even more heavily on its health data to successfully shift from a focus on treatment to prevention and wellness. Such a transition, if successful, would further the company’s commitment to patient-centered care while emphasizing more cost-effective health choices.

Lowe’s was looking to achieve the Triple Aim of health care – better health outcomes, lower costs, and a better patient experience – by focusing on the programs and services most likely to help maintain and improve the health of its employee population. Only by garnering clinical, risk, financial, and wellness data would Lowe’s be able to effectively communicate its new health and wellness strategy to its population.

The Need

Lowe’s needed to find ways to more effectively craft and target messages about its health and wellness programs to different segments of its population. By doing so, Lowe’s would be able to emphasize its programs that promoted better health while reducing overall health costs – all based on the support of strong data. Emphasizing health and wellness while reducing costs would help Lowe’s get closer to its goal of achieving the Triple Aim.

Not only did Lowe’s need to learn more about population health management analytics, but it also needed to find ways to communicate and incentivize healthy lifestyles to its entire workforce. How to do this most effectively lay hidden in the company’s health data. HDMS helped unlock the answers.

The Solution

Using wellness data gathered from members logging onto the Lowe’s employee health portal, Lowe’s and HDMS were able to analyze the total employee population. This method allowed the needed data to be collected in a safe and secure way. A key benefit of using log-in data was the natural segmentation of the population into different groups by frequency of use. The data was then analyzed in multiple ways through the customized data analytics platform for Lowe’s.

The Lowe’s employee health portal log-in data was separated and mapped into six unique cohorts for further analysis among the total population:

  • All Non-users: employees whose IDs were not captured by the portal.
  • All Users: employees who had logged in regardless of frequency.
  • Situational Users: employees who logged in 1-3 times.
  • Novice Users: employees who logged in 4-11 times.
  • Active Users: employees who logged in 12-49 times.
  • Super Users: employees who logged in 50+ times.

HDMS analyzed biometric, medical, and pharmacy data. Lowe’s and HDMS then compared the population to national standards by  measuring a specific plan’s performance against recognized benchmarks and national standards.

The Results

By separating out and analyzing each of the cohorts – both individually and against the other groups – Lowe’s was able to discover much more than they originally anticipated about the health of its employee population. Specifically, the data revealed that there was a correlation between the frequency of employee logins and an increase in risk factors for chronic diseases. By using this data, Lowe’s was able to target messages to the high frequency users that would emphasize prevention, health and wellness to the segment of its population that most needed those messages reinforced.

When looking at the correlation between demographics and risk, the data revealed that the average age and risk of each cohort population was comparable until the log-in frequency increased, starting with Novice users. The data revealed that users who log-in more frequently tend to show a different pattern of health services utilization – including preventative health screenings such as for colon, breast and cervical cancer. Among Novice, Active and Super users there was also a noticeable difference in age as well as in both prospective and retrospective risk. HDMS also analyzed variances in BMI among the populations.

By discovering a possible correlation between certain health indicators and frequency of log-ins to the member portal allowed Lowe’s to create targeted messages about the weight loss programs it offers, prevention strategies, healthy diet and exercise advice, and information about heart disease, diabetes and other diseases customized to address those specific health characteristics.

The data revealed overall population health – and shed light on where and how the company could develop and share messages with certain cohorts of its population that will help improve overall health while controlling costs. Additionally, the data gave Lowe’s clear insight into both how to communicate with its population and what wellness messages would resonate with different cohorts within its population.

Lowe’s Case Study