HR Management & Compliance

Benefit Analysis Technology Helps Control Healthcare Spending

SPECIAL from HR Tech Las Vegas
The world of HR is being changed by technology every day in new and exciting ways, with advancements in everything from promoting company culture to benefits management. Castlight Health presented its innovations at this year’s HR Technology® Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.

“I looked at the healthcare system, and realized that there was a huge information gap,” said Castlight CEO and Cofounder Giovanni Colella, M.D. “Castlight fills that gap.”

In a presentation given by Chief Revenue Officer Michele Law, Castlight demonstrated its Enterprise Healthcare Cloud. The platform offers a way for companies to optimize their healthcare benefits for everyone in the organization. Employers are provided with valuable analytics, reporting, and management controls to help decision makers really see how the benefits are designed and functioning; employees are provided access to highly personalized and affordable healthcare via user-friendly Web and mobile portals.

U.S. enterprises spend $620 billion annually on health care, and 30% of that money is considered wasted, said Law. For such an important benefit, one that not only affects expenditures but also the engagement, retention, and productivity of your talent, how do you minimize waste? The key is visibility—once employers can see exactly where and how dollars are being spent, they can work to control it.


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The Castlight Enterprise Healthcare Cloud is composed of four solution centers: Insights, Controls, Connect, and Care. The centers sit atop a platform containing engines for analytics, personalization, and incentives, and are powered by the Castlight Data Interchange. This may be starting to sound a bit technical and complicated, but Law then presented examples of how this system can work in simple, real ways.

One of the biggest things you may not realize you’re wasting money on is emergency room care—in fact, it’s estimated that 56% of ER visits are avoidable, said Law. To show how Castlight’s platform can help with this expenditure, consider the following series of events:

  • Using Castlight analytics, an employer determines it is spending much more money on ER visits than the industry benchmark. (If your company has multiple branches or locations, the analytics could even tell you if a particular branch has higher ER use than other locations within the organization.)
  • Based on the data, the employer encourages its staff to use the Castlight system, which includes lists of care providers and educational material depending on which programs the company has elected.
  • An employee wakes up with a particularly bad sore throat and considers visiting the ER. However, he or she first logs onto Castlight and types in his or her condition. Law notes that the platform can also be accessed via mobile device.


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  • The employee is given a page of personalized results, information, and options for care. The options in this case include an on-site clinic recommended by the employer, an option of which he or she was previously unaware.
  • The employee opts to go to the on-site clinic rather than to the ER, getting the care he or she needs while also saving on benefits.
  • After a time of driving these sorts of decisions via the Castlight platform, the employer can revisit the analytics and determine precisely how much of an effect has been made on spending.

In short, making it easy for employees to get the most appropriate care at the most appropriate time will save the company money.

Whether or not you think you are in the healthcare business, you ARE, said Law, simply by the amount of money you must spend on this vital benefit. By utilizing the latest in new technology, you can manage your healthcare expenditures just like the rest of your business.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, more new and notable Web innovations from HR Tech, plus we introduce NAVEX Global’s best practices report, AB 2053: Navigating California’s New Abusive Conduct Training Regulation.