Artemis Health Survey: Companies Struggle to Stay Ahead of the Curve in Benefits Design

Benefits Leaders Who Outperform Industry Standards Are More Likely to Use Data Analytics to Shape Their Plans

Artemis Health surveyed 300 human resources and benefits leaders from US companies with 5,000 or more employees to determine the needs of benefits leaders at a time when group plans are becoming more complex and employee expectations are rising.

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Key findings from the survey include:

  • Data intelligence makes the difference. Organizations that are ahead of the curve are significantly more likely to rely on data analytics and business intelligence solutions to develop innovative benefit programs that create value. Benefits leaders also rely on employee feedback (41 percent), industry best practices (37 percent), financial data (34 percent), and recruiting feedback (33 percent) to shape benefits design.
  • Access to the right data at the right time remains a challenge. Benefits leaders overwhelmingly agree that the use of data is somewhat to extremely important in designing and managing an effective benefits program (88 percent). Yet 53 percent cite timely access to the right data as one of their biggest challenges. Other challenges include running reports quickly enough, connecting disjointed data sources, and trusting data accuracy.
  • Employee productivity and satisfaction are key drivers of benefit program design. When making decisions about their benefits programs, benefits leaders report their top three goals are to increase employee productivity (47 percent), improve employee satisfaction (43 percent), and improve employee health and well-being (36 percent). However, companies rank these goals differently according to their size. For example, companies with 5,000 to 9,999 employees rank “increasing employee productivity” as their top goal for benefits programs, while companies with 10,000 to 24,999 employees say their top benefits program goal is “improving employee satisfaction.” For companies with 25,000 employees or more, “improving employee health and well-being” is the top goal.

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“To design and deliver best-in-class healthcare programs, benefits leaders need to harness the power of technology-based healthcare analytics tools. This will enable the benefits team to have deeper insights into how their benefits programs are performing and help them confidently set the strategy for future changes,” says benefits industry expert Hassan Azar.

In an era of increased complexity, competition, and changing expectations, the ability to harness data quickly—from multiple sources—is a competitive differentiator.

“At GE Appliances, one of our biggest areas of focus is the use of data to examine provider quality and efficiency,” says Diana Han, MD, executive director, Global Healthcare for GE Appliances, a Haier company. “By analyzing the data, we’ve found that our onsite primary care providers perform better in lowering hypertension and adhering to evidence-based guidelines for diabetes than community care providers. We’re also using quality data to determine which providers to partner with in creating bundled payment programs, such as for maternity care and substance use disorder. These strategies are critical not only for moving away from fee-for-service payment, but also to improving health outcomes for employees and their families.”

In fact, 79 percent of benefits leaders say their ability to provide data-driven benefits insight is essential to demonstrating their value to the C-suite.

“We talk to benefits leaders who get stopped in the hallway by a CFO and asked about healthcare costs or enrollment numbers. Benefits analytics is the key to feeling confident in these conversations and building better benefits programs for their organizations and their employees,” says Grant Gordon, CEO and co-founder of Artemis Health.

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