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Integrated Mental Health Strategies: A Right-Sized Approach to 2021

Published in HealthPayerIntelligence
Authored by Rani Aravamudhan, Senior Clinical Consultant, HDMS


Member programs encouraging mental health Data Analytics for Mental Healthand wellness have increased in popularity lately among health plans and sponsors. There is a growing consensus that a happy, healthy workforce can lead to better business results. Consequently, promoting mental health strategies is considered a “win-win” proposition.

The question is, how do we quantify the wins?

Read how.

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Five essential strategies for healthy essential employees

This year, you’ve adjusted the physical working environments in your offices, manufacturing plants, and retail floors. You’ve adopted the state, local, and CDC guidance with your own new policies for COVID-19. You’re even offering free flu shots on-site for your employees.

Wondering what else you can do to support your essential workers? By analyzing a few key metrics, you can make decisions that support employee health and productivity—now, and into the future.

Get the guide.

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Countering COVID-19: Using phased data analytics to shape benefits plans

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Five Tips for Optimizing your COVID-19 Cost Model

The COVID-19 Cost Model built by HDMS is used and adapted to meet our client’s needs and interests. We invite you to download this model and use as-is – or customize it to suit your specific needs. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your model:

Use a cross-functional approach: Obtain representation and contribution from across the organization, with inputs from Finance, Data, and Clinical/ Healthcare Specialist resources, at a minimum. Clinical/Healthcare Specialists ensure your model is answering key questions, contains accurate assumptions, and reflects current thinking. Your data team, working in collaboration will create efficiencies in balancing what you want to know and what data is available to support this investigation. They can help build for a refreshable model and possibly introduce new ideas to the team based on data possibilities. The finance team will guide calculation accuracy and are usually great partners to help with organizational buy-in and create confidence in the model.

Build for ranges: Create a model framework that invites ranges both as inputs and outputs. The template provided contains both range estimates and is constructed for three case scenarios to help accommodate different organizational approaches. This increases the usability of the model, as ranges communicate a realistic spectrum. By understanding how large the range can be, you innately create context for anyone using the model outputs.

Create in parallel: Again, collaboration is key. Let data help inform increasing specificity for your cost model. As you develop your model, assess the data available to support increased granularity and actionability. Bring in member demographics like age, gender, geography and use historical health insights along with HR data to consider health risks, role type and job type considerations. Health plans might also wish to analyze by industry, geography, plan type, or other business attributes for additional aggregated insights.

Build assumptions as variables: What we know is rapidly changing and evolving. By building assumptions in as variables, rather than use within formulas, you can update your assumptions more easily and completely. Showing the values as variables on the model itself also creates transparency so it is clear what is used in calculations.

Make the model self-documenting: Document within the model itself. Cite and link to sources, show assumptions as variables as shared above, and create a high level of transparency to help answer as many questions as possible. Make it easy to check sources to see if recommendations or assumptions merit updating based on evolving information.

Download the HDMS COVID-19 Cost Model to see and play with a working model. If you are an HDMS client, reach out to your customer experience team for a more detailed and customizable model that works cohesively with your HDMS implementation.

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Infographic: Diseases of Despair

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What is an Analytics Agenda?

Hoping to get something done?

Every organization is different.  Some are understaffed and trying to cover the basics; some are well invested and applying cutting edge techniques to shape the future.  Some organizations handle everything in-house; some work with multiple trusted partners.  At HDMS we base our work around a collaborative Analytics Agenda.  It’s our way of making sure we understand your organization’s goals, culture, available resources and partners to create and use healthcare analytics for the benefit of your business and employee health.  An Analytics Agenda is a documented plan that gives you clarity on how HDMS will make you successful.

We use Analytics Agendas to generate results momentum.  That means not only do the reports and KPI dashboards you implement in phase 1 continue to deliver value, but we use the Analytics Agenda to find new ways and deliver new incremental value over time.

Write it.

Help your organization grow – step by step, constantly moving the ball forward.  An HDMS Analytics Agenda serves as a documented understanding of what your organization is trying to achieve, how healthcare analytics support priorities, and then digs into the tactical and technical aspects of what and how a collaborative team will perform work to deliver value in these spaces.  Analytic efforts often focus across

  • KPI’s
  • Proactive alerts
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Analytic projects – rapid responses
  • Strategic investigations
  • Long term studies

Identifying where time is spent, what analytics are needed, and how data supports these efforts are all part of creating an Analytics Agenda.

Clients find creating this deliverable energizing because through the process we are able to formulate a plan that was otherwise difficult to progress internally.  We guide you through this process so that you can lead within your organization.  As creative problem solvers we are used to overcoming internal obstacles and we bring these strategies and ideas to your experience when you need help.

Work it.

As the path and plan forward solidify, it’s time to get to work!  Our Data Operations team handles the administration and execution of gathering data from your various data vendors.  They carefully define data integration and data quality processes to deliver things like whole health views, total cost of care analysis, and high impact opportunities – based on priorities set in the Analytics Agenda.

We pull in early insights to refine the Analytics Agenda, considering both your analytic results as well as our collective intelligence of other organizations like yours.  For instance, we might accelerate some tasks if we see an opportunity to reveal cost trend drivers that could be positively impacted if deeper analysis were made available sooner.

Executing the Analytics Agenda varies across organizations, since resources and partner collaborations are considerably different.  The HDMS team fills in where needed and supports you on your terms.  You might be almost self-sufficient, or you may want day to day help with general and deep-dive expertise for complex data analysis.  Regardless of the resourcing model, through our technology your internal stakeholders and trusted business advisors will have relevant and progressive data analytics that enable intelligent decision-making.

Accelerate it.

A successful implementation is a given.  Yes of course you’ll see value in phase 1.  The Analytics Agenda reveals its “varsity” status as time moves on and you and your team just keep bringing the answers.  Once the basics are taken care of, you will be able to move in so many directions, and your ability to serve your organization will create an acceleration effect.

The needs of employees and their families will change and so will the health care services they use, the programs offered, and the data produced and available to augment analysis.  Bringing in new data sources and adjusting and adapting at the speed of change is a reality with HDMS.  We work with you to understand your needs, create a plan, and execute at an accelerated pace.  Our team and technology make it easy, and your Analytics Agenda means you know how and when you’ll deliver results – again and again and again.

Watch an example of how we engage with our Clients in support of the Analytic Agendas that we create for them.

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COVID-19: Health analytics for planning in our changed world

March 11th saw the World Health Organization (WHO) declare a pandemic. This marked a change that immediately impacted our daily lives – our world has a new normal. In it, we need to rapidly adapt to change and heath analytics can show us what to tackle first.

Our ability to understand risk and anticipate spread of the novel coronavirus is inextricably linked to rapidly evolving data. What we know changes swiftly and yet our lives cannot completely stop; businesses still need to function.  Now more than ever, we need to harness health analytics to guide companies through ongoing data-driven decisions as we react, recover, re-open, and plan for 2021.

A COVID-19 Analytics Agenda

HDMS recognizes the opportunity to leverage our clinical and analytic experts to offer content to support companies that extend even beyond our own client base. We created an Analytics Agenda and supporting resources to best leverage health analytics to support your organization.

We recommend a framework of COVID-19 analytics that include these key focus areas in three phases:

  • Acute: quantify your population vulnerabilities for strategic planning and resource management
  • Short term: understand COVID costs, quantify cost offsets due to delayed or reduced care. Use this to re-plan the current benefit year, track wellness issues, and perform cost modeling for 2021
  • New normal: use COVID insights to benefit plan for 2021, manage wellness in our new world, accelerate good health and prevention

HDMS clients should reach out to their Customer Experience team members for analytic templates that produce the results and metrics shared here.

Check out our COVID-19 Analytics Agenda resources.

Short Videos

An Analytics Agenda for COVID-19 | Watch

A COVID-19 Cost Model – Tips and a Template | Watch

An Analytics Agenda for COVID-19 – Quantifying Deferred Care | Watch

Other Related HDMS Resources

LinkedIn Article: Data tells a hopeful story of COVID-19 | Read

Five Tips for Optimizing your COVID-19 Cost Model | Read

LinkedIn Article: A helping hand – a COVID-19 impact calculator | Read

Impact Calculator | Download

Countering COVID-19: Using phased data analytics to shape benefits plans | Read

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Validate Wellness Vendors with a Data-Driven Approach

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Infographic: Use Data to Design Effective Preventative Screening Programs

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Infographic: Path to Wellness