Factors You Should Consider To Keep Vendor Data Honest
In today’s high-tech world, it seems that everything can be measured and quantified, often times to excess. This rings very true in the area of healthcare, with employers sponsoring a wealth of employee benefits designed to monitor and improve their overall health and wellbeing. Reporting on these programs has taken on super-sized dimensions over the last 10 years, with advances in corporate wellness technology that now allow us to analyze data nearly at the molecular level. But, this data revolution has created an environment for inaccurate decision making at best and decision-paralysis at worst. That inefficiency is due to an abundance of captured metrics, which appear to come from “reporting for the sake of reporting,” meaning it often times lacks context, relevance, and/or any discernably clear paths for program action and improvement—also, data could be duplicated throughout the reporting and you may never know it (reporting that is program-centric versus member-centric). Complicating the matter is that benefit carriers/vendors are called upon to demonstrate their OWN value, which can lead to convoluted, bloated reporting metrics that have no impact on the near or long-term success of members’ wellbeing. The result, data becomes suspect and it’s hard to really know, “Is this making an impact?” So, where can you turn for unbiased measures of their effectiveness?
You need to partner with a neutral solution that isn’t incented by, or aligned to, a specific program offering, a solution that focuses on “keeping the vendors honest.” This will be the only way to break the current dysfunctional cycle. The next series of questions you should consider relate to capabilities and what to look for in selecting such an agnostic partner. The solution should offer a flexible and easily customizable platform that simplifies health and wellness program administration, while providing unlimited access to the best of breed in health and wellness vendor services. In a best case scenario, you should be able to choose your own vendor(s) and integrate them into this single utility. A platform should be designed to provide you the insight to manage your health and wellness programs, based on easy to read performance indicators. The ultimate goal of any solution in this regard should be to lift you out of “the weeds” and allow you to spend your time planning and successfully executing instead of swirling in a never-ending pipeline of data that goes nowhere. And, lastly, the presence of leading edge data security should be a prominent feature of your vendor-partner’s configuration. Breaches occur more frequently than we would all like to think, with only those rising to a certain threshold being reported. One only has to turn on the daily news to see the steady tide of data hacks, thefts, and mass distribution for a variety of purposes.
What I have outlined here is a very complex puzzle, with few credible solutions. Contact us to learn more about how we tackle this reality.
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